2024 Takayama Spring Festival

07:59 04/12/2024

When it comes to traveling in Japan during spring, most people would think of activities revolving around flowers. Rightfully so, this is the period when nature is thriving and full of life.

However, aside from flowers, there are also many interesting festivals that one can participate in. One of which is the Takayama Spring Festival. Held in April, the festival celebrates the coming of spring and is renowned as one of Japan’s most beautiful and well-known festivals. 

Make sure to check out this article if you are looking for something interesting to do this April!

1. General information

Takayama Spring Festival, also known as Sanno Matsuri, is held twice a year during Spring (April) and Autumn (October). The Spring Festival, held at Hie Shrine on 14 and 15 April, celebrates the coming of Spring whereas the Autumn Festival, held at Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine on 9 and 10 October, is to pay regard to the Gods.  

2. What happens at Takayama Spring Festival 

Every year on 14 and 15 of April, tens of thousands of people would flock to Takayama City to participate in the Takayama Spring Festival. With magnificently decorated floats and large-scale possessions accompanied by melodious traditional Japanese tunes, it is no wonder why the festival is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan. 

  • Festival Procession

The highlight of the festival is the procession, where 12 floats (or yatai in Japanese), will be paraded around the town before heading towards the Hie Shrine. The Shrine is also known as Sanno-san, hence why the festival is also called the “Sanno Festival.”

Additionally, as the festival coincides with the peak of the Cherry Blossom Season,don;t forget to make use of this opportunity to go hanami as well! You are sure to be blown away by the mesmerizing sight the float processions with the background of cherry blossoms fluttering in the wind.   

  • Yomatsuri (Nighttime Festival)

For those who are not able to be at the festival during the daytime yet still want to participate in the float procession, don’t worry, as there will also be another procession at night on the 14th! What’s special is that during this time, the floats will be illuminated with numerous lanterns, giving the floats a mysterious feel and vibe that is quite different from that of the daytime display. 

  • Yatai Display 

Those who want to take a closer look at the floats can check out the Yatai Displays. The time, date, and location of where each yatai is displayed are different, so make sure to check the information beforehand!

  • Marionette Performance 

The Marionette Performance is another highlight of the festival that you definitely should not miss. The performances will be held a total of four times, twice on each day of the festival in the morning and the afternoon, each lasting around 50 minutes. The audience is sure to be blown away by the design of the marionettes, the beauty of their movements, and the quality of the performances. 

3. Detailed information

Location: Hie Shrine, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Time: 14 and 15 April

Access:  You can reach the site of the festival easily via train and express bus. 

With a bunch of interesting activities to participate in, the Takayama Spring Festival is one that you definitely should not miss out on this spring in Japan, especially those living in Gifu or are planning to visit the prefecture this mid-April. 

Share with us your thoughts on the festival if you have had the chance to enjoy it before, or let us know in the comments which events and topics you would like us to create content about!   

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