Miyama's Seven-Year Festival is a big festival held in Ninomiya Shrine (Ninomiya-Jinja) in Funabashi City with 8 other shrines in Funabashi, Narashino, Yachiyo, and Chiba Cities. It is held once every 7 years, in the year of bull and sheep.
According to a legend, a pregnant wife of a feudal lord had no sign of delivery long after due date and the lord asked a Shinto priest to pray for the safe delivery. Soon after a religious rite performed by the priest on the seashore at midnight, the wife delivered a boy safely.
This is believed to be the origin of this festival. Why only once every 7 years? Some say because in the years of bull and sheep they often had bad crops and others say because it is too expensive to have annual festivals. But no one knows the true reason.
Since this is the year of sheep, it is going to be held on November 1-3. Especially, in the afternoon of November 2, the "Mikoshis" (portable shrines) from these shrines will get together and a pair of a boy and a girl called "Chigo" who were born 7 years ago at night will wear beautiful "Kimono" (Japanese traditional clothes) and march in parade on Miyama's streets. On the premises of Ninomiya Shrine, "Kagura" (sacred music and dances) will be played on the stage and you will see many stalls as well as a large number of visitors. To go to Ninomiya Shrine (5-20-1 Miyama Funabashi City (047-472-1213), please take the Keisei Line Bus or the Shin-Keisei Line Bus for "Ninomiya Jinja" from the north exit of JR Tsudanuma Station and get off at the final stop.