Somanomaoi Festival and historic sites in Minamisoma City, July 26, 2015 (南相馬市 で 相馬野馬追 と史跡 2015年7月26日)

Today, main events of Somanomaoi Festival were held in Minamisoma City. I also visited some historic sites in the City.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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First I visited Daihisan Stone Buddha statues. This site is located in Odaka District of the City. Though it is still within the evacuation area, any residents and travelers can visit the site in the daytime. The site had been designated as National Historic Site.

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( Daihisan Stone Buddha statues, Minamisoma City, July 26, 2015, 大非山石仏 南相馬市 小高区 2015/7/26)
Daihisan Stone Buddha statues are said to be more than 1000 years old. Some of them are shown above.
大非山 の石仏は、1000年以上前のものと、言われています。写真は、その一部です。迫力あります。

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The site is also maintained as a public park as shown above. The surrounding area is very beautiful with rich green.

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( Horse racing with armor, Minamisoma City, July 26, 2015, 甲冑競馬 相馬野馬追 南相馬市 2015/7/26)
Then I went to see the main events of Somanomaoi Festival at Hibarigahara Ground. The first event from noon was horse racing with armored soldiers and their own family flags mounted as shown above.
その後、原町区の 雲雀(ひばり)が原の祭場地 に行き、正午から、甲冑競馬 が行われます。(写真)

You can also watch a short footage above in order to feel the atmosphere of the race.

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The second event was races by mounted soldiers to get shrine flags from the sky. This event is called Shinkisodatsusen. Above picture shows a scene.
次に、神旗争奪戦 があります。(写真)

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The Somanomaoi Festival is held for three consecutive days in late July. During the events you happen to meet many horses on the road in the city such as shown above. A number of citizens join the festival with their own horses dressed in colorful cloths.

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Finally, I visited another historic site of the city which was Sakurai Tumulus from 4th century. It is a front square back square type tumulus similar to Oyasuba Tumulus in Koriyama City. This site is also a National Historic Site.

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Moving a little ahead of the tumulus site I found some mega solar power plants. Above photo shows one of them.



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