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Fireworks exploding over a river.
Local Festivals
  1. Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo, Hokkaidō)
  2. Aomori Nebuta (Aomori City, Aomori)
  3. Sumida River Firework Festival (Tokyo)
  4. Takayama Festival (Takayama City, Gifu)
  5. Naked (Hadaka) Festival (Inazawa City, Aichi)
  6. Wakakusayama Mountain Burning (Nara City, Nara)
  7. Gion Festival (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
  8. Awa Dance Festival (Tokushima City, Tokushima)
  9. Yosakoi Festival (Kōchi City, Kōchi)
  10. Nagasaki Kunchi (Nagasaki City, Nagasaki)
  11. Eisā Festival (Okinawa City, Okinawa)
  12. Niihama Taiko Festival
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Decorated in gold, laquer, and red curtains, floats are lined up for people to view
Floats, each with their own special features, are lined up for the Takayama Festival.
Photo from Hero's Matsuri Webpage.
Takayama Festival (Takayama City, Gifu)
The Takayama Festival is held twice a year in the high mountains of Takayama. The mountains form a scenic background for the floats. The floats are large, ornamentally-decorated wheeled carts referred to as dashi, or danjiri, depending on the region. In April, the Sannō Festival has twelve floats, and in October the Hachiman Festival has eleven floats. In both festivals, these floats gather together, accompanied by a procession of figures wearing traditional costumes known as kamishimo, they parade through the city in honor of the shrine.A few of the floats are furnished with marionettes. Made of materials such as wood, cloth, and bamboo, the marionettes have been appearing in the Takayama Festival since the eighteenth century. The marionettes are performed with skill, manipulated by puppeteers from inside the float using slender ropes that pass through hollow tubes. The expertly maneuvered marionettes come in a variety of types such as ones that perform Nō drama or beautiful women that transform into lions.Takayama has severely cold winters, but the cherry blossoms during the Sannō Festival and the fall foliage during the Hachiman Festival are at their best, and the majority of visitors come to enjoy the combined beauty of the festivals and the nature.
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