Widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful and colorful festivals of Japan, the Takayama Spring Festival is an integral part of the a collective festive ceremony. The other part called the Hachiman Matsuri is held at Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in the month of October.
The origin of the festival lies in the 15th century and once you be a part of this the authentic feel and aura of the era gone by takes over and makes you realize the true significance of this event. Various processions that consist of thousand of people marks the celebrations of Takayama Spring Festival.
The most attractive part of this festival, from a traveler's point of view is the costumes and musical performances that enchants the spectators. One other very notable aspect is the procession titled Tokeiraku parade where people wear hats adorned with bird feathers and sound bells and beat drums to the shishimai lion dance performed by dancers who wear head gear designed like a lion's head.
Then comes the Yatai- they are some majestic floats that have all kinds of devices and appliances, such as marionettes which move so dexterously and skillfully that takes the spectators by surprise and awe. In the evening, these yatais are illuminated with over 100 paper lamps which gives it a unmatched look and feel.
Known as 'the little Kyoto of the Hida region', Takayama has the majestic Northern Alps range nearby. You can hike up ht highlands a bit and enjoy an aerial view of the enlightened floats making way through the old rows of houses and streets of this town.