Bon-Odori Dance through the Night?! Gujo Dance in Gifu

Bon Festival is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of ancestors between August 13 and 15. Gujo Odori Dance, the event in Gujo City of Gifu Prefecture, is one of the big three Bon Festivals in Japan. This event is a must-visit because it is uniquely organized: During the 33 nights between mid-July and early-September, the festival changes the venues, and people dance through four nights from August 13 to 16.

The beginning of Gujo Odori Dance was from 400 years ago, when the local load congregated all local Bon Festivals in the villages in his territories, and promoted to make one large event so that everyone dances together. This idea has been inherited to this day, and Gujo Odori Dance brings the locals and visitors together, and they all dance together. There are as many as ten versions of the dance, but they are all easy to learn while watching the locals. So let’s join them!

The town of Hachiman-cho, Gujo City
Special washcloth with the graphic explanation of the dance

Gujo Hachiman Museum showcases the Dance event’s details along with their exhibitions of local history and traditional crafts. The store inside the “Gujo Hachiman Kyuchosha Kinenkan” museum sells the town’s unique souvenir items such as cotton hand towel with the dance instruction prints, the geta wooden sandals designed for the dance, and other items with unique and efficient designs.

The Museum of Gujo Hachiman Kyuchosha Kinenkan

Address: 520-1 Shimadani, Hachiman-cho, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture

Phone: 0575-67-1819

Open: 8:30am – 5:00pm Closed Dec 29-Jan 3

Access: About 20 minutes walk from Gujo Hachiman Station, or about 20 minutes by Gujo Hachiman Community Bus (Mame bus) and near “Kyochosha Kinenkan-Mae” bus stop