The highlight of the festival is the thousand lantern dance. Hundreds of women in yukata wear lanterns on their heads and dance in a circle. Before the festival, large paper models of famous Japanese buildings are displayed around the town. And at the end of the festival, both the paper lanterns and models are presented to Omiya Shrine.
Throughout the event, you can see many performers dancing to Yoheho-bush, a traditional song from Yamaga. There is also a fireworks display, an impressive number of food and game booths, and various other attractions.
So, on to the pictures!
For the festival, they spread out the paper models of buildings throughout Yamaga. And I really do mean throughout Yamaga. To go from the furthest two points is about an hour walking. And they had a contest where you had to get stamps at the different stops. If you got a certain number of stamps, you were entered to win a prize. Of course, I entered myself and got 21 out of 30 stamps. It took many hours to get them! So here are some pictures of some of those paper models.
Here are some random pictures I took of the festival itself.
Here are pictures from the famed thousand lantern dance. It's a truly beautiful dance.