Yatai Festival

The Yatai festival occurs in April and is a traditional festival involving wooden floats.  Yatai are small, mobile food stalls in Japan typically selling ramen or other food. The name literally means “shop stand.” However at the Yatai festival the traditional wooden floats are beautifully decorated, with lanterns hanging from the sides and are full of people playing flutes and drums.  There were about nine of them and as best I can tell they come from different districts around Otawara.  Everyone is dressed up in traditional clothing up and then they push all the carts full of people into the street and meet down near the Kanodoro.  It seems that there is some sort of competition that involves different Yatai coming together to make the most music/noise (I’m not entirely sure  my Japanese isn’t up to understanding) however there’s lots of flutes, drums, music and noise that goes on through the evening…  Great fun, lots of music, noise and color

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