Takayama is an old town located in Gifu Prefecture, about 2 hours away from Nagoya, Japan. Our trip to this old town was extra special be it coincided with the annual Takayama Autumn Festival. It is the annual festival of the Hachiman Shrine in the northern half of the old town; thus, the festival is also known as Hachiman Festival.
From our accommodation at Route Inn Takayama City, we drove for about 30 minutes to the old town of Takayama. From where our bus was parked, we walked towards Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine where there are a lot of people visiting the shrine and we also saw several Japanese men in full garb, preparing for the Takayama Autumn Festival.
Was it just pure luck or is it really meant for us? It wasn't part of our itinerary, so I guess we were just really lucky to witness the Takayama Autumn Festival which is held every October 9th and 10th. Cited as "one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan," it features a set of 11 festival floats also called "yatai." These tall and intricately decorated floats are only displayed once a year - only during the festival dates. In other days of the year, they are stored in storehouses, which are scattered across Takayama's old town.
If you're visiting Takayama for the Autumn Festival, you can see these floats along the street near Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine starting at 9:00 in the morning until late afternoon.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Yomatsuri (evening festival) where the floats are lit up and paraded along the streets of Takayama. Unfortunately, we left the town at around lunch time and we were not able to see the parade.
Still, it was a very memorable experience to witness the Takayama Autumn Festival. Experiencing autumn for the first time is also such a wonderful experience. So, a visit to Gifu during autumn and in time for the Takayama Festival is a must when traveling to Japan!.
SEE ALSO: HOW TO APPLY FOR A JAPAN TOURIST VISA IN THE PHILIPPINES (with List of Requirements and Steps in Application)
How to get to Takayama from NagoyaFrom Nagoya: [Rail] About 15 minutes' walk from JR Takayama Station. JR Takayama Station is 2 hours, 23 minutes from JR Nagoya Station on the Limited Express.
Flights from Manila to JapanNagoya is the gateway to Gifu if you're coming from the Philippines. Cebu Pacific Air, the leading airline in the Philippines, flies between Manila and Nagoya (Chubu Centrair International Airport) every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Ongoing all-in seat sale fares start from P6,388, for travel from December 17, 2015 to March 31, 2016. Book your flights through the CebuPacificAir.com. For updates and seat sale announcements, check out www.facebook.com/cebupacificair.
NOTE: This Nagoya Familiarization Tour was held in October 6-10, 2015 and was organized by Cebu Pacific Air. Thank you for inviting me to be part of this trip!
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