Johana Hikiyama Matsuri Festival [One of “Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals in Japan List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO” ]

Date:The festival is held every year on May 4th and 5th. It begins on the evening of the 4th and runs from 9:00 AM to about 11:00 PM on the 5th.
Address/Johana Shinmei-gu Shrine. The festival spans the entire downtown area.
Phone/0763-62-1201(Nanto Tourist Association)

The Johana Hikiyama Festival is a religious festival, centered around Johana’s Shinmei-gu Shrine, that is held at the height of spring here in the town often called Etchu’s Little Kyoto, Johana. At the front of the parade is the Shishimai (a dance where a child fights a shrine guardian) and a Kenboko (a giant spear ornament) to scare off demons and devils. Following that, is the Kasaboko (an umbrella looking ornament), which is used to welcome the gods. Proceeding that is the Ioriyatai, which is a float with people inside of singing the Iori Song. Finally, after that are the famous Johana hikiyama parade floats, which are decorated in the traditional Johana style. Starting in the evening, paper lantern mountains are brought out, creating an atmosphere that is different from but equally as fun as the daytime festivities. Additionally, on the night before the main events, 6 houses from the 6 parts of Johana that house important religious statues are made open to the public and are also a must see.