Some of the best Japanese festivals (matsuri) are the dashi parades, processions of 3-level wooden floats, about 8 meters tall, lavishly ornate with complicated carvings.
While the taiko drummers are sitting on the first floor, on the top of the float is usually displayed a large, life-size doll of a legendary hero (on the dashi from this photo you can see Yamato Takeru). The statue is installed with a trapdoor elevator, being raised during the parade or hidden inside the dashi when the tall float needs to go through a lower gate.
As you can see, a dashi needs a strong team - groups of dozens of people - and all these people dressed in happi coats, with their encouragements and contagious joy, not to mention the rhythm of taiko drums, are creating an amazingly enjoyable atmosphere…
If you can, time your visit to Japan to include a dashi parade, you will surely remember it!
Travel tip: To include in your trip a Japanese festival, you can check the Traditional Annual Events section of the JNTO website.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: