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高山祭屋台会館 Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall

  • Around Takayama
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Around Takayama
178 Sakuramachi, Takayama-shi, Gifu, 506-0858, Japan
Opening Hours
[Mar-Nov] 8:30-17:00, [Dec-Feb] 9:00-16:30
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/07/24

Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall

  • Sightseeing

Tourist Center Address:178 Sakura-machi, Takayama-city, Gifu pref.
Japan Category : Museum
Opening Hours : 8:30-17:00 (Mar.-Nov.)
9:00-16:30 (Dec.-Feb.)
Tel.: +81-577-32-5100

1. Outline
The famous Takayama festival is said to have started in the 16th to 17th century but the origins of the festivals are not clear. There are two Takayama festivals, Spring festival is held on 14th and 15th April and Autumn Festival on 9th and 10th October. The Spring festival's main site is the Hie shrine or the Sanno shrine, and the Autumn festival is called the Sanno festival. People celebrate Sanno festival to pray God for a good harvest this year. The Autumn festival's main site is the Sakurayama Hachiman shrine and it is called the Hachiman festival. People celebrate after the crops are harvest season, to express thanks for giving.The Hachiman festival is one of the three largest festivals in Japan with Kyoto Gion festival and the Chichibu festival.

You can find Takayama festival floats exhibition hall located 1.3 km North East of Takayama station. Four of the 11 parade floats used in the Autumn festival are always displayed, and the others are stored in other warehouses in the city. The floats in the floats exhibition hall are replaced several times in a year. You can get information about Takayama festival history and the actual activity.

2. Entrance fee
Adults : 820 yen
Senior High School students : 510 yen
Junior High School and Elementary School students : 420 yen

3. Access
About 20 minutes walk from Takayama station (1.3km)
Via JR train : 2 hours and 15 minutes from Nagoya station to Takayama station
Via highway bus : 2 hours and 35 minutes from Nagoya Meitetsu bus center to Takayama station

4. My recommendations
The best would be to come on the 14th and 15th April, or on 9th and 10th October to see Takayama festival. This Takayama festival floats exhibition hall is good if you can't see the festival. The floats date back to the 17th century, and they are decorated with precise carvings of gilded woods and metal works. This design is similar to ancient arts in Kyoto.

5. Best visit time
Spring festival on 14th and 15th April is especially beautiful with cherry blossoms, and the Autumn festival on 9th and 10th October is also beautiful with colorful leaves. But anytime you can enjoy, the hall is air-conditioned.

6. Other
Sakurayama Nikko Kaikan (no additional fee if you have floats exhibition hall ticket) is located beside Takayama festival floats exhibition hall. It exhibits an exact one tenth scale replica of the famous Nikko Tosho-gu shrine, one of the most important tourist spots in Japan. This replica was made by 15 technicians including famous master Kijuro HASEGAWA about 100 years ago.

Date of post:2015/07/24

Only place always to watch festival floats

  • Sightseeing

In front of stone steps of Sakurayama Hachinangu (Shrine), there is a hall, Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan.

A yatai often means a stall on the street in Japan. People eat ramen, yakitori or oden there. But, in this case, a yatai means a float which parades in a festival. Even though it is Japanese, people sometimes confuse those two different meanings.

Takayama Festival is one of the three most beautiful float festivals in Japan. Others are Gion Festival in Kyoto and Chichibu Festival in Saitama prefecture.

Takayama Festivals take place twice a year in Spring (14th and 15th, April and Autumn 9th and 10th, October).
Some people might think that those festivals are almost the same.
But, actually, the Spring festival is for Hie Shrine and the Autumn festival is for Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine. And, floats are different in each festival.

It is good to see them at the festivals. But, the floats are worth appreciating carefully. Because, artisan skills have been concentrating on festival floats for a long history.
This region had been dispatching artisans to the capital for 600 years, instead of sending rice, clothes or gold as taxes. And, artisans created many temples and shrines. In the Edo period, the artisan skills reached some apexes. And, festival floats were born beyond general work of artisans.

In this hall, we can always appreciate four floats which are exchanged three times a year. And, there is a slope toward the second floor. We can watch them more closely. And, we can borrow a free audio tape in English.

Each float has a concept and a story. For instance, a float, Gyojin-Tai has a figure of an arctic. And, the arctic started to live in a desolate town once. After that, the town flourished. And also, we can see a mechanical puppet, curious pictures and many other attractive things on each float.

We can also watch a hall which exhibits some miniatures of Nikko Tosho-gu with an attached ticket.
And, after visiting these halls and shrine, if we go to the left exit back to the shrine, there is Karakuri Museum where we can always see demonstrations of mechanical puppets. It is also very interesting. And, if we go straight toward Sanmachi, we come across scenery with irrigation canals. It is specific to Takayama. If you have time, please stroll there.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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