The historic town of Hita in Oita Prefecture is the venue for the Hita Gion Matsuri in late July. Gion festivals are held throughout Japan in July, but each brings a touch of local flavor with lavishly decorated floats and traditional music.
The Hita Gion is touted as one of the “top 3 Gion festivals in Kyushu”. How these rankings are made is a bit of a mystery, but if you’re in the area in July it’s worth a look.
Very tall floats called yamaboko will be paraded throughout the festival (July 22–23 for 2023), but probably the most famous event takes place on Sundays before the official festival starts (July 16 for 2023). This is when nine giant floats will gather together in a float frenzy in front of JR Hita Station.