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A tradition of the 200-year-old Tobata Ward, Tobata Gion Oyamakasa is a summer festival held at the end of every July by Tobata Hachimangu Shrine, Sugawara Shrine, and Nakabaru Hachimangu Shrine. During the day, the Nobori Yamakasa floats (which are said to be what all original Yamakasa floats looked like) are draped with beautiful gold and silver embroidered cloth and paraded through the streets in their magnificence. At night, however, these decorations are taken down and replaced with 309 paper lanterns covering the 12-tiered floats, transforming them into pyramids of light! Each of the 10 meter (about 33 feet) tall, 2.5 ton latern floats are shouldered by about 60 men who shout “Yoitosa, yoitosa!” to the rhythm of gongs and drums! Tobata Gion Oyamagasa Festival celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2003.
*About the Festival: Government Designated Significant Intangible Folk Cultural Asset
*About the Floats: Weight - 2.5 tons; height - 10 meters (about 33 feet)
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