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Matsuri no Mori (Festival Forest) Museum

Matsuri no Mori (Festival Forest) Museum

Matsuri no Mori, or Festival Forest, is a captivating museum that immerses visitors in the vibrant cultural heritage of Takayama’s renowned festivals. This unique museum offers an in-depth look into the artistry, history, and spirit of these festive events, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in Japanese culture and tradition. Unlike the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan, which focuses primarily on the traditional festival floats, Matsuri no Mori features modern festival floats crafted in the Heisei era. These floats were created as part of a grand project to preserve and celebrate the traditional craftsmanship methods of the Hida people, ensuring that these skills are passed down to future generations.

A Celebration of Takayama’s Festive Spirit


Matsuri no Mori showcases the grandeur of Takayama’s festivals through the “Heisei Festival Floats,” which were meticulously crafted using traditional techniques to preserve the legacy of Hida’s artisans. These floats, including Kaguratai, Kinkidai, Garyudai, Kintokidai, Fukujudai, Ryukodai, Rikishindai, and Ryuoudai, exemplify the exquisite craftsmanship and intricate designs that define these cultural treasures. Each float features unique carvings, metal fittings, and decorative curtains, reflecting the pinnacle of Edo-period artistry. These magnificent floats were created to celebrate the Takayama Spring and Autumn Festivals, and the museum also features miniature versions of the floats used in these renowned events, providing a captivating glimpse into the festive traditions of Takayama.

Karakuri Dolls and Performances


The museum brings the festival spirit to life with karakuri (mechanical puppet) performances. Created by renowned karakuri master Jinbei Ban’ya, these dolls embody the playful and innovative spirit of the Edo period. The karakuri dolls perform various scenes and dances, controlled by computer-operated air cylinders and motors. Notable performances include the Shishimai (Lion Dance), Zentai Ko (Coin Drums), Kintokidai, and Fukujudai, each offering a captivating glimpse into traditional festival entertainment.

World’s Largest Drum and Japan’s Largest Mikoshi


One of the museum’s highlights is the world’s largest taiko drum, crafted from a single piece of bubinga wood, with a diameter of 2.12 meters at the head and 2.73 meters at the center, weighing an impressive 4.5 tons. Played by karakuri dolls, this drum produces a resonant sound that can be felt as much as heard. Visitors can also try drumming on a similar drum, providing an interactive and unforgettable experience. The museum also features Japan’s largest mikoshi (portable shrine), completed in 1997 by master artisan Kiyoshi Sakai. This octagonal mikoshi, modeled after the imperial throne, stands 4.64 meters high and 3.6 meters wide, weighing approximately 3 tons. Made entirely of Kiso hinoki wood, it is adorned with deep-engraved gold fittings, lacquer work, and gold leaf decorations, showcasing the finest of Heisei-era craftsmanship.

Plan Your Visit


A visit to Matsuri no Mori offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and festive spirit of Takayama. The museum features regular performance times for the karakuri dolls and taiko drumming, so be sure to check the schedule upon arrival to catch these captivating shows. Whether you’re captivated by the grandeur of the Heisei Festival Floats, the mesmerizing performances of the karakuri dolls, or the impressive scale of the world’s largest taiko drum and Japan’s largest mikoshi, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s what you need to know to plan your visit:

Admission Fees:

— 1000 yen for adults

— 800 yen for high school students

— 600 yen for children

Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

INFO

09:00 to 17:00

Open daily

JPY1000

From Takayama Station, take the Sarubobo loca bus service to reach the museum – approx. 15 min / JPY100.

Access

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PLAN YOUR VISIT

TOURS

HOTELS

INFO

09:00 to 17:00

Open daily

JPY1000

From Takayama Station, take the Sarubobo loca bus service to reach the museum – approx. 15 min / JPY100.

Access