What is Hanagasa Odori?
One of the four great festivals of Tohoku, it occurs for the three-day period between August 5th - 7th.
10,000 people dance and walk for 1.2 kilometers along the main street of Yamagata City to the music of the Hanagasa Ondo
and chanting "Yassho makasho" while holding special conical hats decorated with the motif of a safflower,
one of the specialty products of Yamagata.
In 2017, nearly 150 groups will participate in the dance.
The dance is worth seeing because of the sense of unity between the dancers and the spectators along the streets,
the brilliant matching costumes of each group that fit well with the dance, and the rhythm of the hanagasa taiko drumming.
To see the dance
The dance can be seen from the sidewalk along National Route 112 for the 1.2 kilometers between the Tokamachi area and the Bunshokan.
However, it gets very crowded so it may be necessary to arrive early and wait.
Normally people start securing spots around 16:00,
so if you want to see from a good spot it is probably necessary to arrive around this time.
To participate in the dance
It is possible to jump in and dance two times per day.
-18:10 ~ 18:30 (Opening Hanagasa Circle Dance)
You can participate in the goal area in front of city hall during the start of that day's parade.
A dancing instructor is here and it is recommended for beginners.
- 20:30 ~ 21:30 (Jumping in at the tail end of the parade)
It is here that you can jump in and participate in the parade at the tail end of the parade.
You can surely feel that you are participating in the festival.