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Nara Chitose Hogu-hogu Festival 2024 (Otateyama Festival)



The Nara Chitose Hogu-Hogu Festival, also known as the Otateyama Festival, is the prefecture's prime cultural event which runs over 27th to 28th of January. The featured exhibits and cultural performances cover all of the 39 municipalities of Nara Prefecture. Come and enjoy the local flavors of Nara at numerous food stalls with local specialities and souvenirs to purchase.



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Date: 27th and 28th January

Time: 10:00 to 16:00

Place: Heijo Palace Historic Park, Suzakamon Square



Download the English version event pamphlet here



How to Get to the Nara Otateyama Festival

By Train and on Foot: The Heijo Palace Site is about halfway between Yamato Saidaiji and Shin-Omiya stations on the Nara Kintetsu Line. From either station, it’s about 20 to 30 minutes on foot. 

JR-Nara Station, Free Shuttle Bus: West Exit, 09:30 to 16:30, every 15‒20 min

Kintetsu-Nara Station, Gurutto Bus (blue): 09:32 to 15:17, every 15 min, 100 yen

Yamato-Saidaiji Station, Gurutto Bus (blue): 09:12 to 15:12 South Exit, 100 yen



Hands-on Events and Things for Kids to Do

For children of at least 3rd grade Elementary School and above are short woodwork workshops throughout each day. It’s in Japanese, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Children are 1,000 yen and participating adults 1,500 yen. Events last from 30 min to 60 min.

There is also a Kids Corner where children can get AR photo frames featuring various popular characters.





A big part of this year's event is an interactive AR stamp rally which also involves many UNESCO Sites in Nara. You will need to download a smartphone app to participate. Follow the QR code on the official webpage.



Key Events for Saturday 27 January

On the opening day, Saturday, January 27th, there is the popular Taiko or Japanese drum crew from Katsuragi City - Taima Drums Hakuhoza. 


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On a more laid-back note, you can enjoy a Koto harp performance from Asuka Village. Also from Asuka is a costumed display of an ancient form of football.


Two different Lion Dances from two Shinto shrines in the eastern Uda district will also be featured. One is from the bucolic Soni Village. The other Lion Dance is from nearby Mitsue Village. Soni Village is registered as one of the most beautiful countryside villages in Japan.



Nara Mt. Wakakusa Yamayaki and Fireworks 2024

One of the biggest annual events of Nara City and certainly the most visually spectacular - Wakakusa Yamayaki - or the burning of grass on the Wakakusayama mountain is also scheduled for Saturday, 27th January. The burning of the mountain will be preceded by a fireworks display. 

If you are going to be enjoying events at the Oteyama Festival, the last bus back is the blue Gurutto Bus at 16:52 from Stop B1 or Suzakamon-hiroba-mae. The nearest stop to Wakakusayama is B9 or Nara Kasugano International Forum Iraka Mae. From there, it’s a short walk up to Wakakusa Mountain.



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The event may be delayed or even postponed if the weather is bad.


Date: 27th January 2024

Location: Wakakusa Yama Mountain

Fireworks: 18:15

Grass burning: 18:30



Key Events for Sunday 28 January

Highlights on Day 2 of the festival also include Taiko drummers, one group hails from Koryo Town and another is a group from Katsuragi City, the origin experience of Japanese Sumo

There are three dance performances on this day. One is a traditional rain dance (benshide-odori) from Tenri City, and another is a more modern group doing a ‘creative buyo dance’. If you missed the Lion Dance from Soni Village on the 27th, you can see the group performing a slightly different one.




Enjoy the Best Picks of Nara Foods

Foods available for a cold January day include wild boar hot pot from Tenkawa Village and Takatori Town, or try duck hot pot from Gose City. For a bowl of delicious ramen, you can sample Yukimaru Ramen from Oji town or what about black bean udon from Sango Town or beef udon noodles and rolled sushi with ikko green onion from Yamato Takada City? There will be plenty of other foods to snack on from regional tempura, fried chicken, various oden hot pots, sweet red bean soup, sweetmeats, mochi, and more.


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Buy Nara Souvenirs and Regional Specialties

Finally, don’t forget about the delicacies you can take home with you! 

These include the best of Nara sake, especially from the pure waters of Yoshino and Tenkawa villages. These special towns have other featured products, as do Shimokitayama and Kamikitayama mountain villages. 


On Saturday 27th only, Kanmaki Town of west central Nara will be promoting its original curry and rice seasoned with black sesame, cane sugar, and cocoa. Since it’s the season, there will also be a rich picking of Nara strawberries.



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Access





Official SNS links for the event:


Thank you for reading about Nara Chitose Hogu-hogu Festival. We hope to see you there.


 


Author: NARA Visitor Center & Inn

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