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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Festivals & Events

Takayama Autumn Festival 秋の高山祭

Takayama's old town is bathed in the soft glow of lantern light in the annual autumn festival

Begin the countdown to the end of the year with one of the Tokai region's most ornate festivals. The elegant Takayama Autumn Festival takes place over two days at the beginning of October and attracts thousands of visitors.

How to Get There

The Hida Limited Express leaves from Nagoya every hour, taking about 140 minutes. Takayama is also connected to Toyama and Matsumoto by regular trains and highway buses.

Quick Facts

The Takayama Autumn Festival takes place in and around Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine

A total of 11 floats are paraded through the town as part of the festival

The handcrafted floats are so intricately designed that they are likened to the Yomeimon Gate at Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Harvest time

Every October 9 and 10, tens of thousands of people descend on Takayama's old town for its grand autumn festival. A traditional harvest celebration, the festival is about giving thanks while also marking the beginning of preparations for winter.

Festival floats

The festival features colorful, ornately decorated floats. Some of the floats are topped with marionettes, and at set times puppeteers make them perform traditional dances. Usually, this happens mid-morning and early afternoon. Processions don't begin until dark.

For detailed information on where the floats are displayed during the day and for a schedule of the proceedings, drop by one of the local tourist information centers.

The action begins at dusk

As dusk sets in, the decorative yatai are expertly hauled through the streets by dedicated teams of shrine parishioners. Smaller portable shrines, known as omikoshi, also make the journey through town on the shoulders of appointed teams.

The determined shouts, traditional music played on flutes and stringed instruments, and swinging lanterns make for an exhilarating spectacle.

At various locations, you'll find food stalls with Japanese festival standards like yakisoba, takoyaki, steak skewers, and lots of beer.

View the floats year-round

Even if you miss the celebration, you can still see the floats at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan—an exhibition hall displaying floats from festivals past. For a small fee, you can rent English audio guides, which go into detail about the history of the festival and the design of the floats.

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