Spring Takayama Festival (Sanno Matsuri)

Page Number T4000208  Updated on  February 18, 2024  Print

Photograph of Spring Takayama Festival

The Spring Takayama Festival, or Sanno Matsuri, is an annual festival of Hie Shrine and celebrates the coming of spring. The festival parade is held on the south side of Yasugawa St, bordering Takayama's Old Town district. 

There are 12 yatai (festival floats) in the area, and they are paraded around all at once. Three of the floats have a marionette show. There will be a festival procession and a yomatsuri (nighttime festival).

On the days of the festival, brochures of the Spring Takayama Festival will be available at the festival information headquarters, tourist information centers and parking areas.

Though there are usually 12 festival floats on display every Spring Takayama Festival, this year there will only be 11 as the Ebisu-tai float is being repaired.

Featured Events

Festival Procession

Photograph of Festival Parade

During the festival procession, several hundred volunteers garbed in traditional Japanese dress such as kamishimo (formal Edo-period samurai attire) guide a portable shrine transporting Sannou-sama, the patron deity of Hie Shrine. Accompanying the procession are shishimai (lion dance) performers, and the lively, reverbrating gongs of tokeiraku performers, who wear traditional robes decorated with the vibrant image of spirited fighting roosters.  

Date Time Schedule
April 14 1:00 p.m. Start at Hie Shrine
April 14 4:15 p.m. Finish at Otabisho
April 15 12:30 p.m. Start at Otabisho
April 15 3:30 p.m. Finish at Hie Shrine

Otabisho: a location where a deity stops for a rest or overnight stay.

Yatai Display

Photograph of Yatai Float Display

There are 12 yatai (festival floats) for the Spring Takayama Festival (Sanno Matsuri).
Each float has its own unique ornaments, so taking time to compare the floats when they are displayed together is one of the highlights of the festival.

 

Date Time Floats Display Location
April 14 9:30a.m. -
apx. 4:00 p.m.
Kagura-tai, Sanbaso, Ryujin-tai, Shakkyo-tai Takayama Jinya Historical Government House (Otabisho)
April 14 9:30 a.m. -
apx. 4:00 p.m.
Kirin-tai, Godaisan, Houou-tai, Konko-tai, Kinko-tai, Daikoku-tai, Seiryuu-tai Shinmeimachi Street
April 15 9:30 a.m. -
apx. 4:00 p.m.
Kagura-tai, Sanbaso, Ryujin-tai, Shakkyo-tai Takayama Jinya Historical Government House (Otabisho)
April 15 9:30 a.m. -
aox. 4:00 p.m.
Kirin-tai, Houou-tai, Konko-tai Kamiichinomachi, Kamininomachi, Kamisannnomachi

April 15

9:30 a.m. -
apx. 4:00 p.m.
Godaisan, Seiryuu-tai, Kinko-tai Sanmachi Street, Honmachi Street

Marionette Performance

Photograph of Marionette Performance

At the Takayama Jinya Historical Government House, a marionette performance on the three floats Sanbaso, Ryujin-tai, and Shakkyo-tai-is held. Six to eight masters called tsunakata move the many strings of the marionettes. The audience will be dazzled by the detailed, bold, and life-like movements of the marionettes.
The marionette performances are held twice a day, during morning and afternoon, on both days of the festival. Please refer to the schedule below for specific times, and the map below for the location of the performance.

Day Time Location
April 14 11:00 a.m.-
(Approximately 50 minutes)
Takayama Jinya Historical Government House
(Otabisho)
April 14 3:00 p.m.-
(Approximately 50 minutes)
Takayama Jinya Historical Government House
(Otabisho)
April 15 10:00 a.m.-
(Approximately 50 minutes)
Takayama Jinya Historical Government House
(Otabisho)

 

April 15 2:00 p.m.-
(Approximately 50 minutes)

 Takayama Jinya Historical Government House
(Otabisho)

Please note that we may limit entrances from the surrounding areas to ensure safety and prevent accidents.

 

Yomatsuri (Nighttime Festival)

Photograph of Yomatsuri

Yomatsuri is held on the night of the 14th. Approximately 100 lanterns are lit on each float, and the floats are slowly paraded through the city. The audience can experience a fantastic spectacle, which is quite different from the daytime display. The 2023 Yomatsuri will be held at 6:30 p.m, and the procession will begin from near Nahabashi Bridge. 

Nahabashi Bridge is closed from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.

Information and Requests

In the event of rain

  • The festival procession, yatai display, marionnette performances, and the night festival will be cancelled.
  • The festival will not be postponed.
  • Viewing the yatai floats in their respective storehouses may be available depending on the weather.

Requests

  • Yatai floats are invaluable cultural assets. Please be careful around them.
  • Do not touch yatai floats. For your safety, please do not come close to the yatai floats when they are displayed.
  • Do not obstruct the parade to take photographs.
  • Heavy crowds are expected during the festival period. Please give way to each other to avoid accidents.
  • Littering is prohibited. Due to city regulations, there are no garbage containers for festival visitors, so please take your garbage with you when you leave. 
  • Smoking around the Old Town area is prohibited.
  • Please note that the festival event schedule may change due to bad weather.
  • There are some roadside ditches which are not covered. Please watch your step, especially during the yomatsuri.

Takayama Festival Information Centers

  • Takayama Festival Information Headquarters: Telephone: +81-577-36-0155
    (Open only on April 14 and 15.)
  • Hida Takayama Tourist Information Office: Telephone: +81-577-32-5328
  • Takayama City Hall Tourism Division: Telephone: +81-577-32-3333

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