Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival
One of the most exciting summer festival in Japan. takes place from July 1 to 15 and is
held at Kushida-jinja Shrine in Hakata. There are two kinds of festival floats called Yamakasa.
One is Kazari-yamakasa with 15 meters high, a gorgeously decorated festival float which is decked
with elaborate dolls and castles. The other is Kakiyamakasa with 6 meters high, a simply decorated
festival float which is made for carrying on the shoulders and used in the Oiyama race.
The festival features the exciting race called Oiyama climaxing on July 15.
Teams of men clad in short happi-coats and loincloths dash down the city street at full
speed carrying their own one-ton Kakiyamakasa on their shoulders along a 5-kilometer course.
A spectacle that must be seen to be believed.
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