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The Takayama Festival is held twice a year, during April 14-15 and Oct. 9-10. The spring festival is held by Hieda Shrine and it is called Sanno Matsuri. The festival features twelve ornate "yatai" floats which are displayed and pulled along the streets. In a large plaza, katakuri puppets perform on a few of the floats. The festival is also dramatic at night with a float procession. The Takayama Festival procession in spring starts at Hieda Shrine. Photo shows a banner reading "Hieda Jinja." 祭行列
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Hie Shrine hall. The shrine is on Shiroyama Hill. 日枝神社On Dec. 1, 2016 (JST), Takayama Matsuri Festival was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of 33 "Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in Japan."
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The portable shrine (mikoshi) passes through Hie Shrine's torii to join the procession. 神輿
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Shrine officials in the procession.
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Lion dance or shishimai. See the video at hidanet.ne.jp. 獅子舞
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Shrine maidens
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Mikoshi
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Shrine maidens
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Shrine maidens
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A middle-aged woman uses her camera phone to photograph herself. "I was here!"
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Portable shrine 神輿
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Portable shrine 神輿
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Shrine priest
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Large crowd gather to watch the karakuri puppets perform on the ornate floats. Sign says "Watch out for pickpockets."
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Large crowd gather to watch the karakuri puppets perform on the ornate floats.
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Only four of the 12 floats have karakuri puppets which perform. Takayama Matsuri, Gifu
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The karakuri puppets first appeared on the Takayama Matsuri floats in the 18th century. They were handcrafted by artisans in Kyoto.
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Japan has three basic types of karakuri puppets based on the region: Kyoto, Nagoya, and Kanto (Tokyo area). The Takayama karakuri are the Nagoya-type.
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The puppets come out on a plank sticking out of the float and perform in a mini play with various stunts.
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Ryuujintai Karakuri 龍神台からくり
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Sanbasou Karakuri 三番叟からくり
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Sanbasou Karakuri 三番叟からくり
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Ryuujintai Karakuri 龍神台からくり
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Ryuujintai Karakuri 龍神台からくり
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Ryuujintai Karakuri, Takayama Festival, Gifu 龍神台からくり
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The karakuri perfom one float at a time.
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Shakkyoutai Karakuri which transforms into a lion dance. See the video at hidanet.ne.jp. 石橋台からくり
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Ryuujintai Karakuri 龍神台からくり
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Ryuujintai Karakuri throwing confetti. See the video at hidanet.ne.jp. 龍神台からくり
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Street lined with floats.
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Floats are displayed on the street. Takayama Matsuri, Gifu
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Superb embroidery
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Storehouse for a float. 屋台蔵
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Held on April 14, the night procession is the festival's major highlight. 夜まつり曳行
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The floats are lit and paraded on the streets.
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On Nakahashi Bridge.
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The floats cross Nakahashi Bridge.
   
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