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  • Hakata Gion Yamakasa

THINGS TO DO > EVENT Hakata Gion Yamakasa

Said to originate from the founder of the Jotenji Temple, when he scattered sacred water onto the streets of Hakata to remove plagues, the festival has evolved over the last eight centuries, but one could say the streets are still being purified. About one million spectators come each July to watch this UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage-listed spectacle. Larger, 13-meter-high floats called Kazariyama are impressive enough. Then teams of men lift smaller floats called Kakiyama, at the sound of a drum, sprint at full speed around the streets of Hakata. While the festival starts at Kushida Shrine there is a route and a race track that loops around part of the city.

July 1–15, annually
Kushida Shrine, 1-41 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City