Festivals & Events

The list below presents an overview of the major events in Japan.



On Ganjitsu, or New Year’s Day, one of Japan’s most important holidays, it’s customary to visit Buddhist and Shinto shrines to pray for good luck.
New Year’s decorations of pine and straw are taken to the shrines for a bonfire. Pounded rice cakes, cooked in the embers, are consumed in hopes of bringing good health.
Firemen dressed in Edo-period costumes go on parade, later performing acrobatic stunts on top of bamboo ladders at Harumi Pier - Chuo dori in Tokyo.
Sumo Tournaments
Sumo Tournaments, called Hon-basho, draw crowds during 15-day stretches from the second to fourth Sundays in January, May and September at Kokugikan in Tokyo.
Adult's Day
Seijin-no-hi, known as Adult’s Day, honors those reaching the age of 20 with a traditional display.
Visits to Sake Brewery
Eight sake breweries open their brewing facilities, which are not open to visitors at other times, for a period of one week in turn. After the guided tour of the brewery, sake is offered to visitors for sampling. In addition, a commemorative golden sake cup made specially in Hida Takayama is presented to each visitor. Place: Sake Breweries in the city
Back to Top




Setsubun Festival
Set to the lunar calendar, Setsubun marks advent of spring. Festivities at temples and shrines include the scattering of dried beans to banish evil spirits. At Senso-ji Temple, a classical dance of the seven gods of fortune is performed.
Back to Top




Doll Festival
The Doll Festival, known as Hini Matsuri, honors girls to wish them future happiness.
Back to Top




Hida Live Dolls Festival
Single women selected from all over Hida render service at a Shinto shrine, attired in costumes of the Empress, consort, ministers, and court ladies. The parade of Live Dolls, as it winds through the village, looks as if it were right out of a picture scroll of the Heian period. Rice cakes are scattered at the end of the festival.
Spring Takayama Festival
One of the three most beautiful festivals of Japan: twelve gorgeous decorative floats are pulled in a festival procession on the red-colored Nakabashi Bridge and Shinmei-dori (Street); in particular, karakuri marionettes operated for god on three floats (Sanba-so, Ryujin-tai, and Shakkyo-tai floats) are the highlight of the festival. In the evening, a night festival continues while festival floats are led by the festival procession, which parades through the streets.
Place: Hie Shrine, etc.
Baseball Season
From April through October, the Tokyo Dome hosts two professional teams, the Yomiuri Giants and the Nippon Ham Fighters. The Yakult Swallows play at Jingu Stadium.
Buddha's Birthday
For Buddha's birthday, known as Hana Matsuri, celebrations are held at various Temples throughout Japan.
Blossom Viewing
When cherry blossoms bloom, Shiroyama Park and other blossom-blessed locations come alive with singing, dancing and general good cheer.
Tenno Tanjobi
The Emperor's Birthday, April 29, is one only two days when the public is allowed on Imperial Palace grounds. Entrance to the gardens is by Niju-bashi Bridge in Tokyo.
Back to Top




Children's Day
Kodomo-no-hi is a national holiday for children, especially boys, where streamers are flown from poles throughout Japan to symbolize strength and perseverance.
Opening of hiking season at Mt. Norikura to climbers Norikura Skyline is open
This high area consisting of 23 ridges, 7 lakes, and 8 plains is collectively referred to as Mt. Norikura. The highest peak is Mt. Kengamine, 3,026 meters above sea level. You can travel up the mountain along the Norikura Skyline, Japan’s highest-altitude mountain road, to a height of 2,700 meters without stopping.
Back to Top




Open-Air Bath Day
The Oku Hida Hot Springs Village sets June 26 each year, in Japanese equivoque, as open-air bath day. On that day, a communal open-air bath is available to the public free of charge, and people are invited to follow a prescribed walking course and join a stamprally.
Lavender in bloom
There are two parks featuring lavender flowers: the Kiyomi Lavender Park and Pascal Kiyomi Lavender Garden. In early summer, light-purple lavender flowers come into bloom, releasing a relaxing fragrance that floats on the air, suffusing the whole area with their heady scent.
Back to Top




Garakuta Fair (Jumble market)
An antique fair started in 1982. Held on the first Sunday of the month from April to October. The streets are temporarily closed to vehicles (called “pedestrians’ paradise”) and over 20 art dealers have stalls on the street. You will enjoy looking at olden daily-life utensils while strolling down the street.
Hanabi Taikai
Takayama’s biggest displays of fireworks takes place in July along the Miya-gawa River.
Back to Top




Tanabata (Star) Festival
In the Hida region, the Tanabata Festival is held on August 7, one month behind the date on solar calendar because the event originates from the position of stars by lunar calendar. Each shopping street celebrates the Tanabata and the Summer Festivals, offering opportunities for eating, sightseeing, playing, and many other experiences of summer.
Hida Takayama Tezutsu (hand-held) Fireworks Display
A temporary platform is built on the river bed of the Miyagawa River. Fireworks are set off bamboo cylinders handheld by “shooters”, who get showers of sparks from the fireworks, creating extremely exciting scenes.
Place: Downstream of Yayoi-bashi Bridge on the Miyagawa River 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm


Ema Ichi Marcket

A long time ago, farmers dedicated religious paper plaques (kami ema) for the Matsukura KannonAn Ema, usually a votive wooden tablet on which a horse is painted but Takayama's ema is larger and painted on Japanese traditional paper.  They have become popular recently as souvenirs.   Place:  Matsukura Kannon temple, Yamazakura Jinsha Shrine at Hon-machi 2 chome, Sogen Temple in the Higashiyama Teramachi. 


Jinya-mae Yoichi Night Stalls
Vegetables, fruit, shaved ice and many things are sold at night stalls in front of Jinya.  And you can enjoy the performance of the band and other various programs on the specially installed stage.
During O-bon, Buddhists believe the dead revisit the earth. Dances are held and lanterns are lit at various sites in memory of ancestors.
Back to Top




Hon-Basho Sumo Tournaments
Sumo tournaments take place from the second to the fourth Sundays in September for a stretch of 15 days.
Back to Top




Autumn Takayama Festival
An extremely elegant and beautiful festival which is among the three most beautiful festivals of Japan. The highlight of the festival is gorgeous floats described as “moving Youmeimon (the famous, gorgeously-decorated gate to Toshogu Shrine in Nikko)” and marionettes skillfully operated on the floats.
Place: Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine
Back to Top




Na-arai (vegetable washing) and preparation of pickles
Na-arai for the preparation of pickles such as pickled Chinese cabbage as a preserved food for the long winter in the Hida region is rarely seen in urban areas nowadays, but this is a rural scene which used to be often found late in autumn in Hida Takayama.
Place: Hida-no-sato (Hida Folk Village)
Back to Top




Joya no Kane and Ganjitsu
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are times to visit temples and shrines to pray for health, happiness and prosperity. At midnight, Buddhist temple bells ring to clear away evil human passions.
Back to Top


Related Link : Hida Takayama Event Information


Online Booking




face book







Back to Top