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Experience Japan's spring festival

22nd February 2011 Print

The Takayama Festival is held each year in Japan on 14/15 April and is considered probably the most beautiful in the country. Believed to have been started in the 16th century it is the spring festival to pray for a good harvest.

Centred around the Hie Shrine it is famous for its large ornate floats, or yatai, which are highly decorated with detailed carvings and metalwork. They are also adorned with paper lanterns making them look even more spectacular once night falls.

The floats are joined by people wearing brightly coloured hats adorned with bird feathers who sound bells and beat drums. Ahead of them are dancers performing the lion dance. They all wear head gear designed to look like a lion.

The Festival takes place at the northern end of Takayama’s Old Town.

Specialist operator Japan Journeys can offer a wide range of guided tours and independent packages to the country taking in such fascinating events as the Takayama Festival.

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