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Perhaps you would enjoy roaming the trails collecting wild flowers and herbs. Maybe you would enjoy catching fish in your own secret bend of the river. Ofcourse, the local restaurants are rich with these seasonal delights. Or,maybe you would rather stroll the Sunday Morning Market and vegetable vendors and create your own delicatessens. Either way, the seasonal selections are strong from March to may, so don`t miss it! For the fishing fan, there are plenty of clear rivers and streams filled with Char and Amago(a fry of Char).In the beginning of May, a type of fish called "Satsuki masu"("May Trout") make their journey from the ocean back to their home creek or river. Also, in spring, there are an assortment of cultural festivals to enjoy. The Kagura (a traditional sacred dance) and the parading of the Mikosh(portable shrines) are particularly interesting. Each town has their own festivals so please check with the town tourist information for schedules.
When talking about summer in Gujo, the "Gujo Odori" has to be mentioned. The Gujo Odori is a traditional Gujo summer dance that began about 400 years ago during the early of the Edo period. The dance begins on the same night as the Gion Festival in Kyoto and continues for 30 nights. It begins at the Yasaka Shrine (same one that is in Kyoto) and each night it shifts location to a different shrine. The Gujo Odori Preservation Society tell musical stories through an "Ohayashi" which consists of a soloist, a shamisen, a Japanese drum and a Japanese flute.
The listeners participate by encircling the musician's stage and engaging in interesting, easy to learn dance. During "Urabon" (August 13th to 16th) the dance continues all night until 5am! It's a must see. Please join us if you can, but, be warned, more than 20 thousand visitors descend on Gujo for this event so the traffic is a bit chaotic. So plan early. Also, Shirotori town has a traditional summer dance called "Shirotori Odori". The more up-tempo rhythms of this dance make it more appealing to young people.
Autumn in Gujo City heralds the time for harvest. And, of course, this important season is marked with an assortment of festivals. For example, at the Togakushi Shrine in Wara Town,a 400 years old traditional festival celebrates the dedication of a float (a wooden wagon-like float similar to the Takayama style floats) with a Lion and Ise-Kagura Court dance.
On September 9th of each year a special dance is performed at the Hakusan Shrine in Kannsui, Meiho. This historical dance is recognized by national and prefectural governments as an invaluable cultural asset. In October and November an assortment of popular craft festivals are sprinkled throughout Gujo City.
Winter season in Gujo is a winter sports paradise. The nine ski hills of Takasu, Shirotori and Meiho Town annually receive deep portions of snow. Ski lifts and gondolas transport snowboarders and skiers to long beautiful slopes tailored for every skill level. Since the construction of the Tokai Hokuriku Expressway day trips from far away kansai locations area are no problem at all.
And, of course, after a rigorous day of skiing, there is a selection of hotsprings to soothe tired muscles. You can find hotsprings in Takasu,Shirotori,Yamato,Meiho,Hachiman,Wara and Minami. Each one offers a unique and pleasurable experience. So, join winter's"hotsprings explorers"and find your favorite one.
Snow festival of Takasu
In Bokka village's main hall the chill of winter (end of February) is celebrated with elaborate ice sculptures and snow statues. The range of variety is unique and interesting.
It would not be uncommon to find America's Wite House sitting next to an Inuit's igloo, guarded by the Statue of Liberty, And to stay warm there is plenty of "buta jiru"(pork and vegetable in miso soup) to share with your friend.
On January 6th, at the Hakusan Nagataki Shrine, a great prayer festival is held for happiness and a bountiful harvest.(See loacal guide "Shirotori")