Nakao Kamakura Festival
A winter wonderland at the Nakao Kamakura Festival
The Nakao Kamakura Festival is held in February in Gifu’s Shinhotaka Onsen. The snow huts, called kamakura, are built up around the festival grounds and vary in size from tiny to massive. Part of the fun is choosing which one to enter, and children can amuse themselves for hours in the miniature shelters. With so many different kinds of kamakura, anyone can fully enjoy the traditional culture of this snowy country town.
Choose from snow huts with fireplaces, onsen baths and fully stocked bars. You'll also be able to see folk dances at the festival, like the Nakao Lion Dance, and special events like the energetic mochitsuki (rice cake pounding).
During winter the town sets up many dazzling light displays evoking the natural beauty of winter. The Aodaru Illumination is particularly beautiful — a light-up of frozen waterfalls along a rock face.
How to get there
The festival is held in Shinhotaka Onsen, a 95-minute bus ride from Takayama Station.