August 25, 2011

Report: 42nd Annual Cip Sanke Ceremony in Nibutani

I totally dropped the ball on this one – I completely missed updating one of the major events of August, which is the Cip Sanke boat-lowering ceremony in Nibutani, Hokkaido. Cip is what the Ainu call their traditional wooden boats/canoes, and every August there is a ceremony to lower the boats into the Saru river.

This year, the 42nd Cip Sanke was held, drawing approximately 150 participants from all across Hokkaido and Japan. The weather and water levels were good, and about 120 of the participants took turns riding the 7 boats available for a 15-minute ride down the river for a stretch of 1.5 kilometers.

(photo & information from Tomakomai Minpo newspaper article in Japanese).

I apologize for not putting up a notification beforehand, especially those who would have wanted to participate! But don’t worry, it happens every year – I myself participated in 2002 and rode a cip down the river. They are quite difficult to steer, and take some skill to prevent from flipping over. If you are a novice, you will get wet (I definitely did)!



  1. Hi! I am visiting Hokkaido in August and would love to participate in Cip Sanke. Can you please tell me the exact date it will be held on? I'm also keen to visit the Ainu Moshiri Ichimannensai festival, which I believe is in the locale. Would you have any information on dates and specific location? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Sheryn,

      I just sent you an email, but Cip Sanke is scheduled for August 18 and the Ichimannensai will start either August 10 or 11 and held for 6 days.
      It is held at the Asahi Forest (Asahi no mori 旭の森) in Nukibetsu, Biratori-cho.