Gifu #5: Gujo Odori (郡上おどり)

Gifu’s 5th postcard depicts the Gujo Odori, or the month-long dance festival in Gujo City. This festival takes place throughout the month of August, featuring dancing at night at different places around the city. During the peak of Obon, August 13-16, the dancing lasts all night. It is a dance that anyone can join in, so is especially fun for tourists since you can get the chance to try it yourself!

My original plan was to stay the night in Gujo to be able to see the dancing myself, but because of the rains, we had to change our plan significantly, and therefore couldn’t stay the night. We were able to see the castle and walk around town, but not watch any of the dances. Still, there are some great videos on youtube featuring every night’s dances that are fun to watch! There are also demonstrations of the dances at Gujo’s City Museum held multiple times a day, for those unable to watch the actual festival!

Lantern depicting the odori

Sign about it

And a pamphlet

You can read more about the festival here, and my trip to the Gujo Area here!

2015.01.20: I recently came across a video series called Journeys in Japan by NHK. It’s a bit long, but this video explores the waterways of Gujo and the meanings of the Gujo Hachiman Odori. It is very interesting!


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