Festivals & Events
Gujo Odori Festival 郡上おどり
A 400-year-old community festival that draws thousands every summer
This festival takes the summer dance in Japan to a new level. Held over three months and featuring ten different dances, Gujo Odori is unlike any other summer matsuri in Japan.
How to Get There
The festival is accessible by public transport.
By train, take the JR Takayama Line from Gifu Station to Mino-Ota Station, about 35 minutes away, and change to the local Nagaragawa Railway for Gujo-Hachiman .
Most highway buses from Nagoya and Gifu stop at Gujo-Hachiman Inter and a smaller number stop at the more convenient Gujo-Hachiman Jokamachi Plaza.
Dances take place from July to September
The peak is in mid-August during the Obon period
Dances last from sunset to sunrise
A significant Intangible Cultural Folk Asset
The Gujo Odori is officially recognized as one of the three most important bon dances in Japan. It began during the Edo period (1603-1867) by Yoshitaka Endo as a means of binding the people of Gujo together irrespective of class or status. As a result, the Gujo Odori is famous for being welcoming to visitors and tolerant of inexperienced dancers. The goal is to make friends and connect with people.
No room at the inns
There are 31 nights of dancing between July and September. And night means night: the dances go from dusk to dawn. The peak is a four-night frenzy in mid-August. During this time tens of thousands of people gather in Gujo, packing the streets and hotels. Check out the schedule here
In Gujo the party seeks you
There are ten recognized dances, each of which can be quickly picked up by following your neighbor, though classes are offered for the keen. Locals and enthusiastic visitors wear yukata and wooden sandals called geta, but there is no dress code. There are many dance locations around the town in the vicinity of important shrines and temples. Gujo's compact center means you're never far from the party.