Takayama Autumn Festival

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TAKAYAMA AUTUMN FESTIVAL/HACHIMAN MATSURI October 9th & 10th

The Autumn Festival is an annual festival of the Sakurayuama Hachimangu Shrine.The people who live in the northern half of downtown Takayama worship at this shrine.
The actual festival starts on Octover 7th, when the order of the procesion offestival floats is decided. On October 9th, after the ritual ceremony at the shirne,a festival procession with hundreds of townspeople wearing traditional costumes begins. During the daytime, all Autumn Festival floats are pulled out, and themarionette performance is dedicated to the gods. In the evening of October 9th,a night festival containing beautifully decorated floats preceeds through the town.People are fascinated bt the beautiful breathtaking scenery.
The next day is a highlight of the festival. Marionette performance on Hotei-taifloat is executed , and the shrine’s main god, led by festival procession, visits everyhousehold. A group of people in the procession play Shinto music, which is JapaneseImperial music; the other group carries a “Mikoshi”, or a portable shrine with a godin it. The long procession featuring traditional music and people in traditionalcostume takes us back to old Japan.
The festival finishes with another ritual ceremony at the shrine. The ceremony isheld in a solem atmosphere.

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine

The origins of the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine date the time of the EmperorNintoku(313-399), when he requested Prince Takefurukuma no mikoto to subjugate themonster Sukuna, an incredible beast with 2 heads, 4 arms and 4 legs. Beforeundertaking his task, the warrior enshrined his father, the Emperor Ohjin, as thedeity of this shrine and prayed for the success of his mission.
In 1683, through the benefaction of Lord Kanamori, the shrine was enlarged and officially established for the protection of the town. More than 1.5 million peoplevisit the shrine annually.
The Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine has received special permission to keep fourof eleven Autumn Festival Floats alternately on display in the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall for visitors who cannot ne in Takayama at the time of the festival.

The Annual Festival is held on October 9th and 10th.