July 2013
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Travel – Takayama Festival – Japan – Part 1

The Takayama Festivals are organized in Takayama that is located in Japan.

Overview of The Takayama Festival

• It began during the 16th to 17th centuries.
• It is considered to have been started when Kanamori family ruled in Japan.
• It is dated to have originated about 40 years before its correspondence date during 1692.
• There are two of these festivals : one held on 14th and 15 April and the other on 9th and 10 October.
• Takayama Festival is supposed to be one of the 3 most beautiful Japanese festivals.
• The other 2 festivals are : Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Yomatsuri.
• This festival is held two times in a year : one in spring and other in autumn.
• It is held in the Takayama old town.
• It attracts huge crowd from all over the place and world.
• The Spring Takayama Festival is cored on the Hie Shrine.
• The other name of the shrine is the Sanno Shrine.
• This festival when held during spring is also called as Sanno Festival.
• This is held to pray and give thanks to the Lord for a good harvest.
• The autumn festival is cored on the Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine.
• It is also called as the Hachiman Festival.
• This festival is celebrated after the harvest of crops.

Floats in Takayama Festival

• This festival became very popular.
• It is especially due to the large ornate floats.
• They are also called yatai.
• They are known to be roaming around the city during night.
• These floats belong to the 17th century.
• They are highly decorated.
• They have intricate carvings made out of gilded wood.
• There is also rich design of metal-work.
• The art is same as of Kyoto of the Momoyama period.
• It is a blend of early Edo period elements.
The floats have the following inside as well as outside:
– Detailed carving
– Lacquering
– Beautiful decorative metal-works
– Embroidered drapery

Inside, the work is found:
– under the roof
– behind the panels
• These Yatai floats are set prior to dusk.
• Once the whole town is set in darkness, about 100 chochin lanterns are lightened up in every float.
• These yatai floats look very splendid in the night darkness.
• The ornamental of these floats look unique.
• These floats are taken all around the city.
• The people wheel them.
• Traditional lanterns light these floats.
• The tour that takes these lightened floats is known as traditional kimono or hakama.
• There is a performance of marionettes full of craftsmanship and the Hotei Tai.
• There is a puppet show.
• It is considered a cultural asset.
• These floats are put forth in both festivals that take place for about 2 days.
• If the weather is not right, they are kept back in their storage houses.
• Four of the eleven floats of fall are stored in the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan stores.
• Other floats go the special storehouses which are spread in the city.
• The Yatai Kaikan doors are kept open in an abnormal weather so that visitors can view by the visitors.
• These floats are often changed in the Yatai Kaikan.
• It is done so many times annually.
• Towards the north end of the old town, Yatai Kaikan is situated.
• It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes from station if you walk.

The Yatai Kaikan is open from:
– 08:30 to 17:00 from March to November
– 09:00 to 16:30 from December to February
The admission price is about 840 yen.

Best time to visit / climate

• Japan’s climate is predominantly temperate.
• It varies highly from north to south.
Japan’s geographical features are split into 6 principal climatic zones:
– Hokkaido
– Sea of Japan
– Central Highland
– Seto Inland Sea
– Pacific Ocean
– Ryukyu Islands
• The northernmost zone, Hokkaido, offers a humid continental climate.
• It provides long and cold winters.
• It has very warm to cool summers.
• Precipitation is not heavy.
• In winter, the islands form snowbanks.
• The winter temperature on an average in Japan is: 5.1 °C.
• The summer temperature on an average in Japan is: 25.2 °C
• The highest temperature in Japan measured is 40.9 °C.
• The rainy season starts in early May.
• It starts in Okinawa.
• It slowly moves towards north.
• It then reaches Hokkaido in late July.
• This season starts in June mid and stays for 6 weeks, In Honshu.
• Typhoons emerge in late summer and early autumn.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By train via Nagoya
• From Tokyo to Nagoya, take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen.
• It takes about 100-120 mins.
• There are many trains in an hour.
• Get a transfer to the JR Hida limited express train which goes to Takayama.
• It takes about 140 mins.
• There is only one train in an hour.
• One way journey in total takes 4.5 hours.
• It prices around 14,000 yen.
• It can be fully covered if you use a Japan Rail Pass.
• You can use it in a Hikari train that travels between Tokyo and Nagoya.
• Nozomi train fares are not covered by this pass.

JTB’s Takayama two-Day Train & Hotel Package tour
This package includes:
• A round trip from Tokyo to Takayama
• This is taken by shinkansen and limited express
• Accommodation in Takayama
– Cost of 30,500 yen.
– One-way package for 20,500 yen.

2. By train and bus via Matsumoto
This is a slower but a more direct route via Matsumoto and through the Northern Alps.
– from Tokyo to Matsumoto
– from Matsumoto to Takayama
• JR East Pass holders can go to Takayama using a discounted round trip bus ticket.
• It is about 2500 yen.
• It starts from Matsumoto.
The discount ticket can be availed from:
– Narita Airport
– Haneda Airport
JR East Pass covered the entire train ride between Tokyo and Matsumoto.

3. By highway bus
• There are around 6 buses on highway in the daytime in a day.
• They are round trips between Tokyo and Takayama.
They are operated by:
– Keio
– Nohi Bus
The one way trip:
– Costs 6,500 yen
– Time: 5.5 hours
A round trip ticket:
– Costs only 11,700 yen
• Return trip should be within 7 days of the start date.
• There is facility of an overnight bus during summer holidays

Two sightseeing buses are available:
The Machinami Bus
– 100 yen/ride
– Runs hourly
– Circular route between the station and the old town.

Sarubobo Bus
– 200 yen/ride
– Runs every 20-50 minutes

Some Travel Books on Japan

Japan Japan by Rail, 3rd DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Japan

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at asiarooms.com
Hotels at agoda.com
Hotels at booking.com

Blogs / Sites about Takayama Festival – Japan

blogs at hida.jp
blogs at japan-guide.com
blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.com

Images and photos about Takayama Festival – Japan

images at japan-guide.com
images at hida.jp
images at wikipedia.org
images at google.com

Videos of Takayama Festival – Japan

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