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October 6, 2011
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カテゴリ:Festival & Event Series

Also known as the Hachiman Festival, the Takayama Autumn Festival, along with its counterpart in the spring, is considered one of the three most beautiful festivals in all of Japan. During October 9th and 10th of every year, the usually quiet city of Takayama - referred to by many as the "mini-Kyoto" - erupts with a color, sound, and energy that is infectious and magical.

 

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Thought to be around 400 years old, the festival is particularly beloved because of the fantastic floats that are displayed and pulled around the town during the festival. Elaborately decorated both inside and out, they show off magnificent carvings, masterfully crafted dolls, curtains, bamboo blinds, and the like. In the past, different communities that owned different floats used to compete with each other over who could make the most beautiful float, which is why Takayama is now home to 25 of these extremely high-level works of craftsmanship built by the famed "artisans of Hida." 11 of these are used during the Autumn Festival, though 10 will be used this year because of repairs to one of them.

 

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On the night of the 9th, the floats - each adorned with over 100 lamps - will be paraded through the town again on the way back to their storage houses, and this sight, mixed with the sounds of the traditional farewell song that is sung at that point, makes for a highlight of the festival. The marionette performance that takes place on the "Hotei-tai" float is another highlight of the event, as the puppet masters bring the marionette to life in a display that awes the crowd.

 

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The processions featuring hundreds of people in traditional Japanese garb also transport you to the past, and as the most famous festival in the area, the Takayama Autumn Festival is one not to be missed!






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Last updated  October 6, 2011 04:23:01 PM
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