Festivals & Events
Takachiho Evening Kagura 高千穂 夜神楽
See ancient Japan's gods, myths and legends come alive
In late November every year in Kyushu's Miyazaki Prefecture , the Takachiho Night Kagura is an all-night extravaganza of dancing, storytelling, drum beating, and masks, celebrating an 800-year-old tradition. It's a highly entertaining and enriching view of Japan's historical origins. Takachiho's version was designated one of Japan's Intangible Folk Cultural Properties.
- All-night performances from November to February
- Drinking sake and shochu with locals as you wander around the village
- Learning the stories behind the masks and the cacophony of sounds
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach the festival is by bus to Takachiho.
From Kumamoto, ride a Kyushu Sanko Bus or Miyazaki Kotsu bus to the Takachiho Bus Center, which takes about three and a half hours.
Dozens of ancient Shinto folk dances to entertain you
While this event is fun and loads of entertainment, the dances also have great significance in Japan's history. Most Japanese people believe the gods descended from the heavens and started Japan right here in Miyazaki .
The 33 dances performed during the full festival represent different gods and myths and reenact the Japanese legend of how the sun goddess Amaterasu, who had hidden in a cave and plunged the world into darkness, was coaxed back out by the whole pantheon of deities.
Some Gods represent marital harmony.
Other Gods represent fortune.
While other Gods represent fertility
Hit the main festival or come to enjoy any time
The main festival is held every November 22 and 23. Even if you can't make it then, from November to February different shrines in the area perform the all-night dances. These generally start at around 4 p.m. Takachiho Shrine holds a shortened form each night you can see for 700 yen, which is also great fun.