Etchu-Yatsuo is a sloping town that lies in the foothills that separate the Hida Mountains from the Toyama Plain. It has always been a critical and bustling transportation hub where various goods are collected and distributed. It even accounted for a full quarter of the national volume of silkworm egg distribution in Japan at one time. The wealth of the Yatsuo merchants carries on today in the form of dazzlingly gorgeous festival floats. The profoundly beautiful Owara Kaze no Bon autumn festival is alive with the lofty culture of prominent local traders who created it.
The Etchu Owara dance is an unbroken tradition lasting more than three hundred years. Dancing men and women stroll through the slopes of the town dancing to a mournful melody and creating an otherworldly experience.
Dates: September 1-3 / Venue: Throughout the streets of Yatsuo, Toyama
Etchu-Yatsuo’s history as a bustling merchant town is clearly expressed in its raw silk and silkworm egg industries as well as in its festival float culture. The museum offers a Etchu Owara Kaze no Bon Stage performance on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, where visitors can delight in the area’s traditional Owara dancing.
Tel: +81-76-454-5138 / Open seven days a week 9時00分 AM-5時00分 PM (last entry at 4時30分 PM) / Admission: 500yen or 1500yen for admission plus the Etchu Owara Kaze no Bon Stage performance / 2898-1 Kamishin-machi, Yatsuo-machi Toyama, Toyama Prefecture / Take a bus from Etchu-Yatsuo Station on the JR Takayama Main Line to the Hikiyama Tenjikan-mae (Festival Float Museum) bus stop. The bus ride is 11 minutes and drops you off right in front of the museum.
This gently sloping street was once filled with worshippers traveling to and from Kaikomiya (where silkworms are worshipped as gods of sericulture) and Suwa Jinja shrines. The road was paved with cobblestones and the power lines buried to give it an authentic Edo period charm even today. It was selected as one of the Hundred Roads of Japan.
【Getting to Etchu-Yatsuo】
Take the Wide View Hida for 18 minutes from Toyama Station on the JR Takayama Main Line to Etchu-Yatsuo Station.