Festivals & Events
Every April 14 and 15, tens of thousands of people descend on Takayama for the spring festival. It is regarded as one of the three most beautiful festivals in Japan.
The best way to get to Takayama is by public transport.
The centerpieces of the festival are the yatai. These elaborate floats are displayed from morning until late-afternoon outside their storehouses. Some of the floats are topped with puppets called karakuri dolls, and in the mid-morning and early afternoon, they perform a traditional dance. During bad weather, the doors to the storehouses are opened, and the yatai are kept inside.
In the evening, the huge, heavy yatai are expertly led through the streets by dedicated teams. Smaller mikoshi, or portable shrines, also make the journey through the streets. The shouts and grunts of exertion, traditional music played on flutes and stringed instruments, and swinging lanterns make for a vivid, exciting experience that draws people from all over Japan every year.