|Merged||January 1, 2006
(now part of Date)
|• Total||41.99 km2 (16.21 sq mi)|
|Population (January 1, 2006)|
|• Density||583.25/km2 (1,510.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
Tsutsukobiki is a yearly festival that happens in Hobara in March. Members of the community and surrounding towns join together to carry, shake, and smash a straw bushel containing mochi inside. The event proceeds with a three team tug-of-war (split by where the participants live). Eventually, participants carry the straw to a nearby shrine, at which the bushel is cut open with a ceremonial sword.
There is a yearly "Momo Marathon" (Peach Marathon) which passes through Hobara each summer.
Folk Tales and Local Legends
Shinkeibo (真敬坊) was a Japanese monk who travelled through Hobara during a plague and was able to treat the villagers, saving them from their sickness. Shinkeibo was asked by the villagers to stay in the town permanently, but stories vary as to whether he resumed wandering or spent the rest of his life in Hobara. Shinkeibo is still considered a hero for his help.
Kamekyo is the name of a spirit that resides in a local shrine, Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) in Hobara. Local legends include tales in which Kamekyo, a childlike spirit, plays with village children or helps villagers in times of famine or poverty.
Mame Kojiru (豆っこ汁) is a kind of bean used in making dango, a dumpling that is eaten both on its own and as an additive (in miso soup broth, for instance). Mame Kojiru is considered to be a creation native to Hobara.
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