Hakata Gion Yamakasa (Hakata Gion Floats)

One of Hataka’s 3 main festivals, Hakata Gion Yamakasa started on July 1st. Every year, you can enjoy colorful, decorative floats called Kazariyama.
Although smaller, you can see a Kazariyama at Fukuoka Airport (International Wing), too. This photo below is a Kazariyama set up in Fukuoka City. A masterpiece, isn’t it? The dolls are the work of Hakata Ningyoshi (Doll Makers). The sheer power is sure to impress you.

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There are many events during Yamakasa. Please read on.

博多祇園山笠

The climax is Oiyama (Chase), which takes place on early morning on July 15th. At 4:59 a.m., the first Yamakasa (racing floats, not the decorative ones) starts the race out of Kushida Shrine followed by 7 more Yamakasa floats. If you are in a mood for watching a powerful race full of men carrying those huge floats, this is it.

You can get to Kushida Shrine in Subway, which takes only one-minute from Tenjin Station to Nakasu Kawabata Station. On the morning of Oiyama, they run early trains. Only 200-yen roundtrip from Tenjin.