Japan is a place that never ceases to astonish us with its stunning landscapes and cities; this time, we will discuss Takayama. It is a renowned tourist site in the mountainous region of Hida, in the heart of Gifu Prefecture. Read more on Japan takayama tours.
Its tourist interest stems from the fact that it mixes the beauty of bygone Japan in the city centre with the Japanese Alps, therefore it is included in Japan’s travel plans with all of the activities and locations to discover.
It’s the perfect place to get away from the big cities and immerse yourself in old Japan, with streets and traditional residences that give it a magical, natural feel. It is a city that has retained its character and tradition, which attracts many people who want to walk and enjoy its hilly landscapes.
Surrounded entirely by trees, with considerable humidity, fog, and even a somewhat lower temperature due to height. If you want to have your first experience in the Japanese highlands, start with a trip to Takayama, which will allow you to learn about and explore the stunning landscapes, architecture, and monuments that the city of historic and traditional presence has to offer.
Why join Takayama festival?
The Takayama festival, which is thought to be 400 years old, is regarded as one of three most beautiful festivals in Japan.
The festival is conducted two times in a year, in the spring and fall, and it showcases the best of the Hida region. The festival is still safeguarded and cherished by the people, who showcase their traditional arts during the celebration.
The magnificent floats, made by the wonderful workmanship of Hida masters, are perhaps the primary attraction not to be missed during the Takayama festival.
These floats are truly works of art, with intricate artistic decorations and skillfully created puppets capable of extraordinarily deft motions and outfitted with sophisticated gadgets that allow them to be navigated around the city.
The floats are adorned with lanterns at night, and their march creates a lovely dream world that is radically different from the daily parade spectacular.
On April 14 and 15, the streets of Takayama come alive with Japanese eager to experience one of Japan’s most beautiful festivals, the Takayama Matsuri, and its Tokeiraku parade, in which a thousand individuals take part. With their costumes, drums, and dancers, they transport you to the fourteenth century while performing the Shishimai lion dance to perfection.
The real stars, however, are the ten priceless Yatai floats that follow them, equipped with mechanisms that predate the Edo period and that move a succession of marionettes with incredible dexterity that continues to dazzle the audience. The 100 paper lanterns that adorn these floats add the finishing touch at sunset, producing an even more magnificent spectacle if possible.
The procession and floats (which return to the streets in October for the Hachiman Matsuri) are the pride of the city, which is known for its carpenters’ and sculptors’ carvings. Takayama is also known as “the small Kyoto of the Hida region,” and it features a well-preserved old quarter in addition to providing as a starting point for excursions to the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Finally, if you are in the area outside of these dates and want to see the Yatai floats, you can do so at the Takayama Yatai Kaikan, which is located next to the Sakurayama hachiman temple and houses four of them.