The Ubagami Daijingu Togyo Festival – held every year from August 9 to 11 – is what the residents of Esashi most look forward to every year. Approximately 50,000 people gather in the town – which has a population of only 8,000 – to watch portable shrines and 13 floats being paraded around the streets.
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In 2017, the story of Esashi Town, “May in Esashi exceeds even Edo -- A town brought to life by prosperous herring fishery”, was recognized as Hokkaido’s first official ‘Japan Heritage’. This special feature explores the lives and stories of these remarkable townspeople.
Kamome Island is the symbol of Esashi. The history of the town began from the island’s natural harbor. A house stands at the entrance of the island. I visited Aosaka Takayuki, a third generation fisherman on the island.
Professionals from the north
“Muramoto Tent” began in 1911 as a harness maker. The company then expanded into canvas manufacturing for trucks and boats. About 20 years ago, the previous owner began creating canvas bags. Muramoto Go is currently the fourth generation in the business.