Yuzawa City’s “Inukko Festival” – Adorable Figures Color the Snowy Landscape

  • 2024-03-08
  • 2024-03-08
  • NEWS
  • 49view

On February 10 and 11, Inukko Festival, a New Year’s event in Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture, was held at the city gymnasium, the event’s main venue. Although there were fewer snow sculptures of shrines and dog statues this year due to the low snowfall, the event was crowded with dog lovers from all over Japan who came to pray for their dogs’ health. Here are some photos of cute Akita dogs during the event and scenes from around the venue.

Three-Color Trio

Daisuke Konno, a first-time visitor from Nanyo City, Yamagata Prefecture, with three male dogs of each different color, said, “I was overwhelmed by the number of people and dogs.” From left to right: Hisui (one-year-old), Shuri (four-year-old), Kotora (five-year-old) – (February 11)

Give the Festival a Splash of Color

On the night of the 10th, winter fireworks colorfully decorated the small shrines and dog statues made of snow. Despite the rain, unusual for Yuzawa in February, many people looked up at the night sky with their hot drinks to keep them warm (this picture was created through HDR compositing, utilizing three different photographs).

Happy Place

Mr. Kazunori Sakaida, his wife Aki, and their dog Lala (one-year-old female) from Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Mr. Sakaida smiled, “I love Akita dogs so much…just being with many Akita dogs here, the home of Akita dogs, is a happy place for me!” They enjoyed the festival for two days. (February 10)

Looking Solemn

Mr. Yoshikazu Nakamachi and his wife Keiko of Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, received o-harai (a ritual of exorcism) with their beloved dog Yuzu (eight-year-old female). Yuzu has been suffering from dermatitis and is currently undergoing treatment, so they prayed that she would stay healthy and not get any more illnesses. Yuzu herself, not to be outdone by her owner, participated in the ritual with a serious look on her face. (February 10)


Dogs of all breeds, large and small, gathered at the event to pray for dogs’ health and happiness on February 11. Riki (photo left, one-year-old male), a dog of Hiromi Matsumura from Araya, Akita City, gently greets a small dog.

Large Group of Dogs

Seeing of large Akita dogs lined up in a row was a sight to behold. Photography sessions were held here and there throughout the venue on the 11th.

First Participation

Zainal Abidin from Indonesia and his wife, Michiko Sakamoto, brought their red-haired Nalu (seven-month-old female) and tiger-haired Kai (four-year-old male) from Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture to participate for the first time. Mrs. Sakamoto was surprised that she could ride the bus to the venue with her dogs. (February 11)

>Where Dogs Connect Akita and the World

Where Dogs Connect Akita and the World

Akita Inu (dogs), with their fluffy coat, round eyes, and an adorable tail that curls up, are now famous worldwide. Akita dogs have a strong body and are best known for their loyal personality. The number of Akita dogs raised overseas continues to increase. In Akita Prefecture, the Akita dog's birthplace, there is an active movement to utilize them for tourism promotion. Akita Sakigake Shimpo, entitled "Akitainu News," will circulate various domestic and international information about Akita dogs. The goal is to connect the world and Akita through Akita dogs.