Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Fukuno Yotaka Festival

Japan’s “Golden Week” holiday sees Nanto City in Toyama Prefecture come alive with many festivals. One example is the Yotaka Festival in the Fukuno area. Perhaps the most memorable part of the 3-day festival is the large lantern floats that are paraded throughout the town to the deep sound of beating drums—and on the evening of the second day, the people riding fight to tear their opponents’ floats apart. It’s moving and exhilarating—a beautiful addition to Nanto’s cultural richness.

The excitement of a festival on the night before the Yotaka Festival.

This takes place on the evening before the thrilling Yotaka Festival in an excited atmosphere. 14m high giant lantern floats are paraded through the streets amidst boisterous cheers of encouragement. On this “eve festival”, the Yotaka song and the Yotaka dance are performed as the mood rises in anticipation of the main event the following day. Over the course of May 1st and 2nd 20 lanterns of varying sizes are carried through the city centre accompanied by people signing the Yotaka song. The late-night jostling on the 2nd has to be seen. On the 3rd Hikiyama floats from 4 districts are taken around the city centre.

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