Takayama Autumn Festival (秋の高山祭)8

While in Takayama we stayed at the Ryokan Sumiyoshi, which I thoroughly recommend. The staff were very friendly and really went out of their way to help us and make us feel comfortable.

Takayama 33-Front of Ryokan

Takayama 34-Garden of Ryokan

Takayama 35-Irori of Ryokan

Takayama 36-Armour at Ryokan

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Takayama Autumn Festival (秋の高山祭)6

One of the highlights of the festival is the street parade that takes place during the day.

Smaller floats are pulled through the streets and up to the temple:

Takayama 31-Parade3

Takayama 31-Parade4

Takayama 31-Parade4-2.JPG

Takayama 31-Parade2

Takayama 31-Parade6

They are accompanied by a variety of different traditional musicians and musical instruments:

Takayama 31-Parade10

Takayama 31-Parade17

Takayama 31-Parade5

Takayama 31-Parade18

The parade features participants of all ages – from about 80:

Takayama 31-Parade9

To about 8:

Takayama 31-Parade15

And all ages in between:

Takayama 31-Parade14

Takayama 31-Parade13

Takayama 31-Parade12

Takayama 31-Parade8

Sometimes you need a quick break:

Takayama 31-Parade16

Takayama 31-Parade7

And of course it all ends with the Dragon Dance:

Takayama 31-Parade11

Takayama Autumn Festival (秋の高山祭)4

Takayama is known as ‘Little Kyoto’ and there are still many old buildings that are wonderfully preserved and give a glimpse of how beautiful it must have been before concrete, if somewhat partial to fire and the odd earthquake.

Some old merchant’s houses:

Takayama 25-Streets5

Takayama 26-Streets6

Takayama 27-Streets7

Lanterns:

Takayama 30-Streets10 (lanterns)

Teahouse:

Takayama 28-Streets8

Traditional washi paper shop:

Takayama 31-Streets11 (shop)

Traditional snacks:

Takayama 29-Streets9

Sake shop:

DSCN0047

Takayama Autumn Festival (秋の高山祭)3

One of the highlights of the festival is the puppet show held at Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine. Each puppet requires “9 puppet masters to manipulate the 36 strings which make the marionettes move in a lifelike manner, with gestures, turns and other movements” (Wikipedia).

The show takes place in front of the main shrine and the puppets are operated from within the float:

Takayama 17-Puppet Show4

The movements are incredibly graceful and lifelike:

Takayama 14-Puppet Show1

Takayama 15-Puppet Show2.JPG

Takayama 16-Puppet Show3

The float being wheeled away for the evening:

Takayama 19-Puppet Show6-Float Leaving Temple

Musicians on the float:

Takayama 20-Puppet Show7-Float Musicians

Autumn leaves at the shrine:

Takayama 18-Puppet Show5-Temple