(original photo by Travis Sanders; CC BY 2.0)

Otsu Festival

Originating in the early part of the Edo Period, this religious festival includes a parade of magnificent, 13 story tall lantern floats. This festival is rare for its mechanical dolls (Karakuri Ningyo) which operate on special mechanisms such as “Koi no Takinobori (fish climbing a waterfall)” or Tai-tsuri. It is not only for these dolls and painted screens which – some of the oldest in Japan – that the festival is recognized, but also, for its place in Japanese performance history due to the skilled craftsmanship for the curtains and screens. On the eve of the festival, sounds of traditional Japanese music ring out through the night as countless lantern floats gracefully drift about. During the lantern parade on October 9th, the day of the festival, throngs of people gather as cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves are scattered about to ward off evil.

Access from Tokyo
From Tokyo Sta. take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Kyoto Sta. From Kyoto Sta. take the JR Tokaido Line (Biwako Line) to Otsu Sta.
October 8 - 9, 2016
Website: Otsu Festival (in Japanese only)
Otsu Festival

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