The most important festival in Iga-Ueno in Mie Prefecture is the Tenjin Matsuri held from October 23-25 annually.
The Tenjin Festival in Iga involves the parading of richly decorated floats through the streets of the town. These wheeled floats, which are called hoko in Kyoto and alternatively hune, yama and yatai in other parts of Japan, are referred to as danjiri in Iga-Ueno.
The Danjiri Museum in Iga-Ueno holds three historic floats, dating back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries, in a specially designed building.
The modern building mirrors the historic storehouses traditionally used to house the floats. Nowadays, nine danjiri are paraded in the Tenjin Festival.
The floats are mounted on turntables and slowly rotate. The museum includes audio-visual displays of the Tenjin Matsuri as well as life-sized figures of the oni-gyoretsu (demon procession) which accompanies it, when locals dress up as devils wearing elaborate costumes and grotesque masks to both scare and amuse the spectators.
The 8 large AV screens in the museum also present other aspects of Iga's culture and history including the tradition of ninja in the town.
Ueno-marunouchi 122-4, Iga, Mie
Tel: 0595 24 4400
Hours: 9am-5pm (closed during the Tenjin Festival)
Admission: 500 yen
The Danjiri Museum includes a shop selling local products.
The nearest station to Ueno Park and the Danjiri Museum is Kintetsu Ueno-shi Station. From Nagoya Station journey time is over two hours or 90 minutes from Osaka.
JR Kansai Line via Kameyama to Iga-Ueno Station and then Kintetsu Iga Line to Ueno-shi Station. The Danjiri Kaikan is just a short walk from Ueno-shi Station.
From Nagoya Station take the Kintetsu Nagoya Line to Ise Nakagawa, change to the Osaka Line to Iga Kanbe, then transfer to the Kintetsu Iga Line and on to Ueno-shi Station.
The Danjiri Museum is close to Ueno Park which includes Ueno Castle, the Iga Ninja Museum, the Basho Memorial Museum and the lovely Haiseiden.
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