15th Annual Noto Yosakoi Festival

This year’s Noto Yosakoi Festival will take place on 4-5 June 2011 (Sat. and Sun.) on the streets of Wakura Onsen. Yosakoi is an high-style dance style that originated in Kochi prefecture in 1954 and employs the use of naruko, distinctive (typically) red, yellow, and black noise-makes. A combination of the traditional music and dance with modern elements, yosakoi is as fun to watch as it is to dance. And where better to watch a yosakoi competition than the picturesque streets of Wakura Onsen in the Festival Country of Noto (祭りの國能登)?

The opening of the 2010 festival. From the Noto Waccha! Blog (Noto Yosakoi)

New to yosakoi? Watch a video of the 2010 winning team, Noto-guni Wakuura Shichishi, (能登國涌浦七士; known among JETs as “Hot Man Team”) here. There are pictures of all the teams on the official website.

Ginny M. and I competed in the festival last year, and I was really touched at how happy the festival-goers were to see foreign dancers and the JET friends who came to watch us. Ginny has repatriated, but I will be dancing again this year. The event is a lot of fun, and I hope you’ll come watch all the exciting dances and see the creative costumes.

Sat., June 4, 11:00-20:00

Sun., June 5, 10:00-20:00 (awards ceremony afterward)

Note: Sunday is the day of the actual competition, so there will be more spectators and more of a festival atmosphere that day.

Schedule (PDF)

Map (PDF)

Cost
Free to attend.

Access
Public transit
North of Nanao: Take the Noto Tetsudo (のと鉄道) Nanao Line (七尾線)
to Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉) from Anamizu (穴水).

Cost: 660 yen (one way)

South of Nanao: Take the JR Nanao line (JR七尾線) to Nanao (七尾) and transfer to the Noto Tetsudo (のと鉄道) bound for Anamizu (穴水); get off at Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉). Or take the one of the express trains Thunderbird (サンダーバード) or Shiragi (しらさぎ) directly to Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉) from Kanazawa (金沢).

Cost:
Local trains: 1280 yen (one-way)
Express trains: 2220 yen (unreserved; one-way)

By car
The festival will take place on the main street of Wakura Onsen.  There is parking available in large lots along the street, but Wakura Onsen is fairly small, so plan accordingly.

Leah Zoller is a second-year CIR and the current editor of this blog. She will be dancing with Anamizu’s Ohakoren (十八番連) team. Last year, she wore through her shoes twice.

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