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

“Kanzarashi” is part of the carp-banner-making process where artisans submerge the banners in the freezing river on the coldest days of the year, washing off the naturally made soy bean paste applied before dyeing. The waters and temperature help tighten the banner material, fix the dye and bring out the bright colors in the designs.

Watching these masterpieces slowly come to life in the hands of artisans in the freezing waters is a wonder you can spectate only twice a year.

【Date, time】

①  20th of January (Saturday): 1pm – 2pm
②  4th of February (Sunday): 10am – 11am

【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 (Friday): 5pm ~ 9pm
② 3rd of February (Saturday): 5pm ~ 9pm

Catch it all while you can! If not, be sure to catch the ones in the coming years!

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