Gujo Hachiman is a quaint castle town in central Gifu famous for its stunningly clear waters and many local traditions. Among them being the all-natural art of indigo dyeing and carp-banner crafting.

“Kanzarashi” is a step in the carp-banner-making process where artisans submerge the banners in the freezing river on the coldest days of the year. This washes off the naturally made soy bean paste from a previous step, tightens the banner material, fixes the dye and brings out the bright colors in the designs.

Watching the masterpieces slowly come to life in the hands of artisans in the freezing waters is a wonder you can spectate only twice a year – and it’s finally reopened to the public after a hiatus in the previous three years.

Be sure to practice safety measures like wearing a mask and social distancing when attending the event.

【Date, time】
① 20th of January (Friday): 1:00PM – 2:00PM
② 5th of February (Sunday): 10:00AM – 11:00AM
【Location】 In the Yoshida River where it meets the Kodara River (near Sogi Spring)
【Directions】 20-minute walk from the Nagaragawa Railway’s Gujo-Hachiman Station (to get to the Nagaragawa Railway, transfer at JR Mino-Ota Station located on the Takayama Main Line)

There is also a light-up event featuring giant carp banners on days before Kanzarashi.
① 19th of January (Thursday): 5:00PM ~ onwards
② 4th of February (Saturday): 5:00PM ~ onwards

Catch it all while you can! If not, look out for dates in the coming years!

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