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Hakata Gion Yamakasa Kazariyama Guide 2017

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is in full swing! Although you still have to wait a few days for the main event (the Oiyama on July 15, for more info on the big day’s festivities click here), you can take the opportunity to visit the various different decorative Yamakasa floats. These floats, known as kazariyama, are located around the city for public viewing until July 15. This year, fans of the Star Wars series should drop by Kamikawabata-dori to see the float of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” movie (to be released in Japan on December)! In the past, these tall kazariyama were raced through the streets, heaved around the course by local teams. Nowadays, however, they are used only for display (they’re so staggeringly tall that they kept getting caught in electric cables). Every year, the floats are designed and built from scratch by professional Hakata doll makers. To fully appreciate the craftsmanship of these decorative floats, we encourage you to visit the kazariyama in person; each one has a cordoned off viewing area with seating provided. But if you can’t make it to any of the float venues, our summer intern, Fabien, has taken photos of this year’s line-up for you! So lay back, and enjoy the craftsmanship and detailed design that make each float unique.

View Yamakasa Map 2017 in a larger map

Float #1 Nakasu Nagare
On display at: Nakasu, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 奇襲桶狭間合戦(Kishu Okehazama no Kassen)
Surprise Attack at Battle of Okehazama – Rough translation
Back theme: 本能寺の変(Honnoji no Hen)
The Incident at Honnoji

Float #3 Chiyo Nagare
On display at: Chiyo, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 徳川四天王(Tokugawa Shitenno)
The Four Devas of Tokugawa
Back theme: がんばろう熊本(Ganbaro Kumamoto)
We can do it, Kumamoto

Float #7 Higashi Nagare
On display at: Kamigofuku-machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 黒田猛将虎退治(Kuroda Mousho Torataiji)
Kuroda, The Brave General and Tiger Exterminator – Rough translation
Back theme: 我町大博多(Wagamachi Dai Hakata)
Our Town, Dai Hakata – Rough translation

Float #8 Kamikawabata-dori
On display at: Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 決戦俱利伽羅峠(Kessen Kurikara Toge)
The Last Battle at Kurikara Pass – Rough translation
Back theme: スター・ウォーズ 最後のジェダイ(Star Wars Saigo no Jedi)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Float #9 Canal City Hakata
On display at: Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 助六由縁江戸桜(Sukeroku Yukari no Edozakura)
Edo Cherry Blossoms of Sukeroku Yukari – Rough translation
Back theme: 分福報恩誉(Bunbuku Houon no Homare)
Honor for the Grateful Teapot Bunbuku – Rough translation

Float #10 Kawabata Chuogai
On display at: Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: おんな城主直虎(Onna Zyoshu Naotora)
Lady of the Castle, Naotora – Rough translation
Back theme: 朝定番 アサデス。KBC(Asateiban Asadesu KBC)
Daily Morning Show Asadesu KBC – Rough translation

Float #11 Solaria
On display at: Solaria Plaza, Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 邂逅洛中五条大橋段(Kaikou Rakuchu Gojo Oohashi no Dan)
Chance Meeting in the Capital on the Steps of Gojo Ohashi – Rough translation
Back theme: 京洛絢爛醍醐之花見(Kyouraku Kenran Daigo no Hanami)
Kyoto dazzling Daigo cherry-blossom viewing .
Dazzling Cherry Blossom Viewing of Daigo in Kyoto – Rough translation

Float #12 Shintencho
On display at: Shintencho, Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 一杖涕涙安宅関(Ichijo Teirui Ataka no Seki)
Tears of Punishment at Gate of Ataka – Rough translation
Back theme: サザエさん(Sazae san)
Ms. Sazae – Rough translation

Float #13 Hakata Riverain
On display at: Hakata Riverain, Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 湊川之戦い(Minatogawa no Tatakai)
The War of Minatogawa – Rough translation
Back theme: 祝博多の花咲爺(Iwai Hakata no Hanasakajii)
Congratulations, Hanasakajii of Hakata

Float #14 Tenjin 1-Chome
On display at: Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 福徳七福神(Fukutoku Shichifukujin)
Happiness and Prosperity of The Seven Deities of Good Fortune – Rough translation
Back theme: 福徳七福神(Fukutoku Shichifukujin)
Happiness and Prosperity of The Seven Deities of Good Fortune – Rough translation

Float #15 Watanabe-dori 1-Chome
On display at: Watanabe-dori, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 合戦関ヶ原(Kassen Sekigahara)
The Battle of Sekigahara – Rough translation
Back theme: 愛と勇気のアンパンマン(Ai to Yuuki no Anpanman)
Love and Courage of Anpanman – Rough translation

Float #16 Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome
On display at: Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome, Jigyohama, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 若鷹快進撃(Wakataka Kaishingeki)
Powerful Attack of a Young Hawk – Rough translation
Back theme: 雄姿凛々剣洗川(Yuushi Rinrinken wo Araukawa)
Washing of a Brave and Gallant Sword at the River – Rough translation

Float #17 Hakataeki Shoten Rengokai
On display at: Hakata Station, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 奇襲一ノ谷合戦(Kishu Ishitani no Kassen)
Surprise Attack at Battle of Ishitani – Rough translation
Back theme: 祝 九州五祭文化遺産登録(Shuku Kyushu Gosai Bunkaisan Toroku)
Congratulations! UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Registration of Five Festivals of Kyushu

Extra: Kushida Jinja Shrine
On display at: Kushida Jinja Shrine (Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku)
Front theme: 素神宝剣之奇瑞(Soshin Hoken no Kizui)
Auspicious Omen of Soshin’s Precious Sword – Rough translation
Back theme: 威風長政決戦功(Ifuu Nagamasa Kessen no Isaoshi)
Battle Champion Majestic Nagamasa – Rough translation

Photos: Fabien Mizart, for Fukuoka Now

Originally written in Jun. 2016. Updated in Jul. 2017.
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to to this page.

NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was originally written in Jun. 2016.

Fukuoka City
Published: Jul 4, 2017 / Last Updated: Jul 4, 2017