Takayama Matsuri! Japan day 8

Takayama Matsuri

We had book 2 nights in Takayama to experience the spring festival here, which is one of the major festivals in Japan. The mountain town gets packed with people, locals and tourists alike. It is one of the only times of the year the 12 shrines leaves their little houses and get paraded around the old town part of Takayama.

We made it to Takayama!

There were tons of people everywhere! Old town Takayama was very beautiful. The festival floats were carried down the streets from their homes in the morning.






Floats with cute kiddies

We also checked out some morning markets in the town, where I had the most delicious custard filled pancake pocket for 100¥. Yesssss. Love markets. There were also lots of carnival games type stands, cotton candy and craft fair type stands.


FOOD STANDS!


mm..fried fish


100¥ pancake goodness

We then headed to the main festival square for the Karakuri marionette show. Four of the main shrines were "parked" in the main square and 3 of them had little marionette dolls on the top that were controlled by 5-6 people inside the shrine, hidden by wood curtains. The show was fantastic and there was always a surprise at the end, like when the drunk old man puppet the little boy puppet stuffed into a jar actually turned out to be a demon and transformed into a dragon. Totes didn't see that coming.


Karakuri


puppet man who just opened his fan and put on a mask!


Old man trapped in a jar who just turned into a dragon


Chris spots the other white guy in the crowd


It was fun to be in Takayama amongst all the festival bustle and the town itself is very pretty and quaint. We also watched the parade, twice.












Got a good spot for the parade!


My fave guy in the parade

And in the evening, they attach lanterns to the shrines and carry the, throughout the town again. There are lots of little tykes who sit on the top level of the shrines playing flutes and banging drums and really little ones who wave at you. Kawaii!


Boy playing the drum on top of the float


Floats lit up with lanterns


Girls playing flute and boy playing drum
Nice shot Chris!




Takayama is so pretty!

Chris also saw a ridiculous amount of shibas and he had to go and pat each one :-). Kawaii!!


Oh and we ended up going to a French restaurant for a delicious dinner. The region, Hida, is known for its beef, so we had to try it. It was amazing.

Chris: the most tender steak I have had ever in my life. The flazors! The flazors!


Hida beef dinner

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