Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp


Otabi Festival in Komatsu City


©Komatsu City  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Otabi Festival in Komatsu City


Watch all-girls kabuki staged on gorgeous floats at this long-running festival

Komatsu City


©Komatsu City


You may have heard of kabuki, a traditional form of Japanese theater traditionally restricted to male actors. But have you heard of children's kabuki? What’s  more, one performed only by girls? Here in Komatsu, that is precisely how kabuki culture continues to live on as part of the traditional Otabi Festival in May. The plays are performed not on ordinary stages, but on unique festival floats called hikiyama. These floats incorporate components of kabuki stages and are craft masterpieces in themselves, extravagantly decorated in the gold leaf and lacquer that the locality is known for. Eight of these floats remain in Komatsu and are reassembled every year from scratch by the respective neighborhoods that own them. It is also from these neighborhoods that the young actresses are selected and go through grueling training in the months leading up to the big event. The festival climax comes at night, when the grand assembly of hikiyama comes aglow to provide a stunning backdrop to the finale performances. But even if you cannot make the festival, you can always experience kabuki costumes and traditional instruments, and view two of the towering hikiyama up close at the Miyossa Gallery.


©Komatsu City

How to get there


Komatsu City is 1 hour by plane from Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport, from which JR Komatsu Station (festival vicinity) is about a 15-minute bus ride.


72-3 Yokaichi-machi, Komatsu-shi, Ishikawa-ken


Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages