• Culture
  • Saga

Karatsu Kunchi Hikiyama Float Exhibition Hall

See the floats used in Karatsu Kunchi up close

Karatsu Kunchi is the regular fall festival of Karatsu Shrine. It is the largest festival in Karatsu. In 2016, the float ritual of Karatsu Kunchi was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Karatsu Kunchi is held on the three days of November 2, 3, and 4. Fourteen dazzling floats and a musical group featuring flutes, bells, and drums are paraded around the old castle town.
At the Hikiyama Float Exhibition Hall, you can see the 14 floats up close.

The Floats are the World’s Largest Works of Lacquer Art

The 14 floats were made from the Edo period to the Meiji period in the shape of creatures such as lions, helmets, turtles, and sea breams. The floats are made by layering several hundred sheets of traditional Japanese paper on top of a frame made of clay, painting them with lacquer, shaping them, and finally decorating them with colored lacquer and gold leaf. The amount of time it took to make them varies by neighborhood, but it is said to have taken from three to six years.
The floats weigh two to three tons, and each of them is adorned in fine detail with intricate decorations. By looking at them up close, you’ll see their charm like you’ve never seen it before.


Name Hikiyama Float Exhibition Hall
Web Sites (In Japanese) http://www.karatsu-bunka.or.jp/hikiyama.html
Address 6-33 Nishijonai, Karatsu-shi, Saga
Access 8 minutes’ walk from JR Karatsu Station
Business Hours 9:00 to 17:00
Closed December 29 to 31, the first Tuesday in December and the following day
Inquiries TEL: 0955-73-4361
Admission Adults: 300 yen; Elementary and Junior High School Students: 150 yen

Related Topics

Recommended Trips