The 43rd Takasaki Festival

だるま

The Takasaki Festival is an event of the citizens, for the citizens, and by the citizens. Everyone can join in this “celebration of Takasaki” to be held for the 43rd time this year. It takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday of August every year, and is attended by both locals and visitors from outside the prefecture. The festival is one of the largest in the Kanto area, attracting over seven million participants yearly.

The festival features a large fireworks display as the main attraction, with no less than 15,000 rounds of fireworks launched into the mid-summer night sky. A popular spot is the viewing area from where you can see the fast and impressive Takasaki fireworks up close. The viewing area has been expanded considerably this year. The fireworks are created with utmost care by skilled technicians and will certainly become a memorable event for every viewer. Please come and experience the Takasaki fireworks up close!

[Fireworks Event: August 5th (Saturday) 7:40 to 8:30 p.m]

大花火大会

山車まつり

The 15th annual Float Festival is also an event that you cannot miss. This year it will be held in tandem with Takasaki Festival. The children’s musical accompaniment and the adults’ powerful cheers will energize and fascinate visitors. Takasaki City has the largest number of floats in Japan, and these gorgeously decorated floats rotate every year to appear in the festival and parade around the city.
Please come and see the powerful and resplendent Float Festival.

[Float Festival: August 5th (Saturday) & 6th (Sunday)]

最高潮

The highlight of Takasaki Festival is the portable shrine show taking place at the center intersection of the festival. All the portable shrines gather together to show off their shouting and excitement in honor of this spectacular tradition. Takasaki Festival also features unique attractions such as Kiyari songs, the Matoi dance, Japanese drums, Awa-odori dance, Bon-odori dance, and Takasaki Chindon street music. Takasaki Festival puts on a full display of traditional skills and performances.

[Portable Shrine Parade: August 5th (Saturday) & 6th (Sunday)]

Takasaki Festival aims to be the cleanest festival in Japan. More than 1,000 volunteer staff take part in cleaning-up after the festival every year. Visitors and festival participants all share in this spirit of cleanliness. At the end of the festival, you will see almost no garbage on the streets.

The uniqueness of Takasaki Festival lies in this fusion of tradition, represented by the amazing fireworks and ancient culture, and the new culture driven by its citizen initiative. We hope you join us at the warm and wonderful Takasaki Festival!


EVENT SCHEDULE

August 5th (Sat)Traffic Restrictions: 13:00~22:00
August 6th (Sun)Traffic Restricted: 13:00~21:00

August 5th (Sat)
Traffic Restrictions: 13:00~22:00
August 6th (Sun)
Traffic Restricted: 13:00~21:00

Kids’ Plaza
Escape Takasaki Castle!

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Music Center East Plaza

13:00~16:00

Kids’ Plaza
Escape Takasaki Castle!

Music Center East Plaza

13:00~16:00

Lucky Takasaki Restaurants

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Motenashi Hiroba

August 5th (Sat) 13:00~20:45

August 6th (Sun) 13:00~19:45

Lucky Takasaki Restaurants

Motenashi Hiroba

13:00~19:45

Renjaku-cho Seating Area
(Free)

Renajku-cho Int.

14:00~21:00

Renjaku-cho Seating Area

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Renajku-cho Int.

August 5th (Sat) (Free) 14:00~21:00

August 6th (Sun) (Free) 14:00~18:00

August 6th (Sun) (Paid) 18:00~21:00

Kids’ Portable Shrine Workshop

August 6th (Sun)

Motenashi Hiroba

15:30~17:00

Original Daruma Doll Portable Shrine

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Motenashi Hiroba ~
Saya Mall

13:00~15:30

Renjaku-cho Seating Area

Renajku-cho Int.

(Free)14:00~18:00
(Paid)18:00~21:00

Portable Shrine

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

August 5th (Sat)
Motenashi Hiroba~
Suzuran Store Front/Ekimae-dori~Suzuran Store Front
14:00~20:30

August 6th (Sun)
Ekimae-dori~Motenashi Hiroba
14:45~20:30

Motenashi Hiroba~
Suzuran Store Front/Ekimae-dori~
Suzuran Store Front

14:00~20:30

Original Daruma Doll Portable Shrine

Motenashi Hiroba~
Saya Mall

13:00~15:30

Awa Dance

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

August 5th (Sat)
Ekimae-dori 13:35~13:40
Renajku-cho Int. 19:40~20:30

August 6th (Sun)
Festival Grounds 13:15~20:30

Ekimae-dor
Renajku-cho Int.

13:35~13:40
19:40~20:30

Portable Shrine

Ekimae-dori~
Motenashi Hiroba

14:45~20:30

Taiko Drums

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

August 5th (Sat)
Music Ctr Front Plaza 13:00~19:00
Renjaku-cho Int. 19:15~19:30

August 6th (Sun)
Music Ctr Front Plaza 13:00~19:00
Motenashi Hiroba 17:15~18:00
Renjaku-cho Int. Stage 19:15~20:30

Music Ctr Front Plaza
Renjaku-cho Int.

13:00~19:00
19:15~20:30

Awa Dance

Festival Grounds

13:15~20:30

Kiyari Song

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

August 5th (Sat)
Festival Grounds
Ceremony 14:00~14:05
19:40~20:30

August 6th (Sun)
Ekimae-dori 14:25~14:45
Motenashi Hiroba 15:45~16:15
Renjaku-cho Int. Stage 19:30~20:30

Festival Grounds

(Ceremony)14:00~14:05
19:40~20:30

Taiko Drums

Music Ctr Front Plaza
Motenashi Hiroba
Renjaku-cho Int. Stage

13:00~19:00
17:15~18:00
19:15~20:30

Takasaki Chindon Street Musicians

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Festival Grounds

14:00~20:30

Kiyari Song

Ekimae-dori
Motenashi Hiroba
Renjaku-cho Int. Stage

14:25~14:45
15:45~16:15
19:30~20:30

Parade Floats

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Festival Grounds

August 5th (Sat)
14:30~20:00

August 6th (Sun)
14:10~18:30

14:30~20:00

Takasaki Chindon Street Musicians

Festival Grounds

14:00~20:30

Bon Festival Dance

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Motenashi Hiroba

August 5th (Sat)
19:00~21:00

August 6th (Sun)
18:00~20:00

19:00~21:00

Parade Floats

Festival Grounds

14:10~18:30

Large Fireworks Display

August 5th (Sat)

Karasu River Upstream Riverbed by Wada Bridge

19:40~20:30

Bon Festival Dance

Motenashi Hiroba

18:00~20:00

Craftsmanship Festival

August 5th (Sat)・August 6th (Sun)

Takasaki City Hall Front Plaza

10:00~17:00

Giant Daruma Doll Portable Shrine

August 6th (Sun)

Motenashi Hiroba~
Renjaku-cho

16:30~20:30

Craftsmanship Festival

Takasaki City Hall Front Plaza

10:00~17:00

※Schedule subject to change.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) are strictly prohibited at Takasaki Festival.

スケジュール


TRAFFIC RESTRICTED

市街地


LARGE FIREWORKS DISPLAY etc…

花火大会

花火大会

TAKASAKI’S PARADE FLOATS

花火大会

Takasaki’s Parade Floats

Takasaki’s parade floats appeared in records as part of the festival at Yorimasa Shrine in 1717, and they continued to appear at the festival until around 1869. They were called “kazari yatai” (ornate festival floats) at the time, and there were 24 of them in 1869.

When the festival at Yorimasa Shrine fell out of fashion due to the Meiji Restoration and there was no longer a need for the floats to pass through the narrow float passageway, large floats that were two-tiered with stage lifts and handles were built.

Before long, trains began running in the city and electric wires were strung up around the city. As a result, the large floats could no longer be operated and were sold to other areas. Smaller floats were built once more from around the late Meiji period, through the Taisho period, and until the early Showa period (around the mid-1900s to the mid-1940s).

Even looking exclusively at the example of 1-chome of the Honcho district, the first float was built in 1872 (sold to Kuragano-machi), the second was built in 1921 (sold to Tamachi), and the third was built in 1928 and is still in use today. Including the “kazari yatai” (ornate festival float) from the Edo period, we can see that there were at least four parade floats built through the years. This means that Takasaki’s parade floats have a history of nearly 300 years.

The festival music played on the flute and Japanese taiko drums as accompaniment is essential to parade floats. Takasaki’s festival music is influenced by that of Kanda Festival (Kanda-bayashi), but while their titles are the same, the two differ significantly. Tokyo’s festival music and Takasaki’s native festival music most likely blended together and transformed into what Takasaki’s festival music is today. Still, Takasaki’s festival music fits the float parade perfectly. Additionally, each neighborhood has a festival music team with children playing the taiko drums, a feature unique to the Takasaki festival.

After the war, the festival music was divided broadly into two major schools: the Hasegawa School and the Shuuzan School, which is an offshoot of the Hasegawa School. While the Shuuzan School uses a bamboo flute, has a higher pitch, and has a slightly different melody, the tune is fundamentally the same as the Hasegawa School.

The most notable feature of Takasaki’s parade float festival by far is the number of floats Takasaki has – 38 floats total. There is no other city in Japan that has this many floats. Takasaki has the most in Japan. Looking at the float parades in the recent years, 27 floats were at the emperor’s coronation event in 1928, 26 floats at the Takasaki Festival in 1955, 35 floats at the 60th anniversary of Takasaki City in 1961, 34 floats at the 70th anniversary of Takasaki City in 1970, and 34 floats at the 80th anniversary of Takasaki City in 1980. A great number of floats appeared at these float parades, and they were a grand sight to see.

The Takasaki Hometown Festival was established in 1975, and it changed its name to Takasaki Festival in 1985. In recent history since then, 36 parade floats from all around the city appeared at the 90th anniversary of Takasaki City in 1990, and two new floats were added at the 100th anniversary of Takasaki City in 2000. That brought the total to 38 floats from all around the city appearing for that celebration. Currently, about half of all floats make an appearance every year following a rotating schedule. The Takasaki Parade Float Festival became an independent event in 2003, and this year marks the 14th Takasaki Parade Float Festival (42nd total).

Takasaki’s float parade is the best in the Kanto region in terms of size and substance. Please come watch the gorgeous and festive float parade.

KODOMO HIROBA etc…

花火大会

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