This festival has 350 years of (glorious) history.
18 floats decorated with lanterns, samurai and kabuki dolls, and traditional dancers riding the floats cruise around the old samurai town of Kakunodate to pay visits to shrines and the residence of Lord Satake. When one float meets another, they negotiate for right of way. If the negotiation fails they crash into each other repeatedly in an attempt to pass forcefully. This is the most famous part of the festival, known as Yama Buttsuke (meaning float-crashing).
The festival goes for three days from September 7 to 9. The first day is mainly for floats to parade around the town. On the second day the crashing begins. The third day is famous for its grand finale – an endless overnight battle royale among the floats. They don’t mind destroying the floats on the final day.
When: September 7-9
Where: All over Kakunodate, Akita
Access: Right around the JR Kakunodate Station toward Bukeyashiki Street (the samurai house area).