Sanno Matsuri April
TAKAYAMA SPRING FESTIVAL / SANNO MATSURI April 14th & 15th
The Spring Festival is an annual festival of the HieJinja Shrine which was originally built in 1141. The people who livein the southern half of downtown Takayama worship at this shrine.
The actual festival starts on March 1st, when the order of the procesionof festival floats is decided. On April 14th, after the ritual ceremonyat the shrine, a festival procession with hundreds of townspeople wearingtraditional costumes begins.
During the day time, all Spring Festival floatsare pulled out, and the marionette performances are dedicated to the gods. In the evening, a nightfestival containing beautifully decorated floats proceeds through thetown. People are fascinated by the beautiful breath-taking scenery.
The next day is a highlight of the festival. Marionetteperformances on Ryujin-tai, Sanba-so, and Shakkyo-tai floats are executed, and the shrine’s main god, led by the festival procession,visits every household. A group of people in the procession play Shintomusic, which is Japanese Imperial music; the other group carries a “Mikoshi”,or a portable shrine with a god in it. The long procession featuring traditionalmusic and people in traditional costume takes us back to old Japan.
The festival finishes with another ritual ceremony at the shrine. The ceremonyis held in a solemn atmosphere.
Pictures:Festival floats of Takayama festival published by Hida takayama tourism association
HIE JINJA SHRINE
This Shinto shrine is presently located on Shiroyama Hill, having beenmoved from the Katano area of the town in 1586 after the Kanamori familystarted to govern the Hida Takayama area. It’s actual origin dates backto 1141, when the loard at that time built a shrine in Katano village.
It has been worshipped as the guardian deity of the town for centuries.