＊ Within the city, many shops sell yukata kimono and geta. Japanese style hotels have a rental service for yukata and geta.
The traditional dancing culture of Gujo, dating from the Edo period, continues to attract visitors even now. Today, large numbers of traditional dance fans come to Gujo to enjoy Gujo Odori dance and Shirotori Odori dance from all over Japan in summer.
People of all ages can enjoy the event, joining together in large dancing circles.
Anyone is welcome to spontaneously join in the dance circle.
Although everyone is listening to the same music, each person is free to dance as the music moves them, with some in a graceful dance, some in a lively, vigorous style, and still others in a slow and solemn dance.
Whatever the style, both dancers and spectators can surely enjoy them all. Why don't you find your favorite style and dance along with the crowd?
The music used for the dancing is very artistic, featuring distinctive singing styles, Japanese drums, shamisen, and flutes. Traditional Japanese geta clogs also add to the festive mood.
So, why not put on your yukata （traditional casual summer kimono） and geta and join the dancing!
The dance season lasts for about 30 nights in Gujo-Hachiman, from mid July to the beginning of September. People dance all night during the peak of the season, from August 13th to 16th.
There are ten varieties of the dance, including the famous “Kawasaki” style. During the festival, the venue changes according to the events in each town. In addition, dance contests are held in separate categories including individual, group, and masquerade events.
The “Gujo Odori Dance Festival in Aoyama” is performed for two nights in Aoyama, Tokyo every late June. Many overseas performances have also been taken places in Los Angeles, Russia, Hawaii, Beijing, Toronto, and so on. The dynamism of the Gujo Odori is so irresistible that anyone watching it cannot help but dance. The “Gujo style” is an international standard so that both local people and visitors from overseas join the dance and enjoy together.
- Alternately raise your left and right arms, keeping in step with the rhythm of the music.
- Move your arms from right to left.
- Make a small triangle shape with your both hands.
- Spread both arms out in a bigger triangle shape.
- Clap your hands three times.
Raise your left foot at the sametime.
The Shirotori Odori dance features eight music pieces, including “Gensuke-san”, and is popular for young people because of its up-tempo style.
The dance festival is held over about twenty nights from the end of July in Shirotori-cho area.
During August 13th to 15th, people dance all night in a circle. You can find an old style dance in the Haiden Odori in which dancers sing to each other and stomp out rhythms with their geta clogs under the kiriko hanging lanterns. A masked dance contest is also held every year.
- Kick out your right leg forward.
Windmill your right arm around in a big circular motion.
- Repeat this movement, but now on your left side.
- Do the same as.
- Step into the circle, making a big triangle shape with your arms and kicking back with your right foot.
- Step back on your right foot, raise your left leg up forward, and clap your hands.