Takayama's Unesco - Listed Autumn Festival Dazzles Crowds

Takayama's UNESCO-listed autumn festival dazzles crowds

TAKAYAMA, Gifu Prefecture--The Autumn Takayama Festival reached its climax here on Oct. 10, having dazzled crowds of visitors over two days with a display of lavishly decorated floats.

Takayama city officials said that about 220,000 sightseers visited the autumn festival, or Hachiman Matsuri, this year to watch the 11 "yatai" floats in a procession leading to Hachimanjinja shrine.

The festival, which dates back more than 300 years, is held in spring and autumn, and this was the first autumn installment since UNESCO added 33 traditional Japanese festivals, including in Takayama, to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list as a single entry in November 2016.

The UNESCO listing refers to "Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals in Japan." "Yama" and "hoko" refer to decorations attached to or pulled with yatai floats.