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  1. 札幌雪まつり(北海道札幌市)
  2. 青森ねぶた(青森県青森市)
  3. 隅田川花火大会(東京都)
  4. 高山祭(岐阜県高山市)
  5. はだか祭り(愛知県稲沢市)
  6. 若草山の山焼き(奈良県奈良市)
  7. 祇園祭(京都府京都市)
  8. 阿波踊り(徳島県徳島市)
  9. よさこい祭り(高知県高知市)
  10. 長崎くんち(長崎県長崎市)
  11. エイサー祭り(沖縄県沖縄市)
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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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