The Hanagasa festival

Hanagasa Odori

This festival is held every year from August 5 to 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in Yamagata City (Yamagata prefecture). A total of over a million visitors come to see this 3-day festival each year, making this festival one of the most important in the region.

Splendid and colorful floats open the festival with the shout of «Yassho! Makasho! Of the participants and the sound of the drums in the background. Participants wear a colorful costume, a hat adorned with safflower, the symbolic flower of Yamagata prefecture, and perform a dynamic dance in the streets of the city. Yamagata City is known for its wide range of temperatures: very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

Nearby is the Yamagata Zao mountain range famous for its quasi-national park (“Zao kokutei kouen”) and hot springs (“Zao Onsen”), for its cable car (“Zao Ropeway”), and for “Zao onsen »The ski resort. A wide range of activities that will allow the visitor to enjoy the place and nature at any time of the year!

Regarding cultural events, the “Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival” is held every two years (odd years) in October. This event brings together documentary filmmakers and directors from around the world – especially from Asia. Another event is held every first Sunday in September, in Yamagata prefecture, the “festival of the best imoni in Japan”, an event dedicated to this Japanese dish (a kind of stew with “sato-imo” [taro en Inglés], a famous starch from Yamagata prefecture). In a giant 6 meter diameter pot, an imoni simmers: servings for 30,000 people!

The Hanagasa festival