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Gujo Odori – Expo 2025: Live to Travel, Travel to Live

Gujo Odori

Gujo Hachiman

Gujo Odori, held in Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture, is Japan's longest-running Bon dance and occurs annually from mid-July to early September. The dance is held in various locations throughout the city, such as the city center, castle town streets, the public square, and shrine precincts. The event hours are typically from 8pm to 10:30pm on weekdays/Sundays and 8pm to 11pm on Saturdays. The event’s highlight is the all-night dance held over four days from August 13–16. Stemming from its historical roots, Gujo Odori involves not just performances to be watched, but a dance experience to participate in — allowing both tourists and locals to enjoy the festivities together.

Local insights

My name is Kaba, and I am in charge of the Gujo Odori Operation Committee Office. The Gujo Odori is supported by many people, including local residents, related organizations, and dance fans, all of whom are committed to preserving this over 400-year old local treasure and passing it on to future generations.

Gujo Odori and Expo 2025

At Gujo Odori, you can partake in traditional Japanese festivities with locals, which relates to the Expo theme, "Connecting Lives."

Q1: How does this attraction bring tourists and locals together?

A: Gujo Odori is an event that brings people with different backgrounds together. Through dancing in a circle with locals, participants can enjoy cultural exchange that transcends language and cultural barriers. Also, starting in April 2024, guided town walking tours in English will be available by reservation, offering tourists opportunities to learn about local history and culture while engaging in direct interactions with the community. Furthermore, the Gujo-Hachiman Hakurankan (Exhibition Hall) hosts dance performances and food sample-making experiences, further enhancing connections with local residents.

Q2: What kind of impressions have you got from visitors?

A: Gujo Odori performances and experiences are especially popular among Taiwanese visitors and the hands-on activity of creating food samples, reminiscent of Japanese restaurant displays, has received wide praise regardless of nationality. Crafting wax tempura and lettuce, though simple, results in remarkably authentic pieces that bring joy to participants, encouraging many to take their masterpieces home as souvenirs. Keychains, magnets, and other items have been a big hit, and many visitors have purchased them happily.

Q3: Any message for visitors planning to see Expo 2025?

A: Experience more than just being a spectator at the Gujo Odori. Join in the fun, and dance together! The choreography is simple, ensuring everyone can enjoy it right away. We recommend that you visit Gujo Hachiman in Gifu during the season, join the dance circle, and share some joyful moments with us! We look forward to seeing you!

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