Yosakoi Festival


Kochi’s most famous festival has to be Yosakoi! Held over 4 days from Aug 9~12, the whole of Kochi City is over-run by Yosakoi-Dance troupes. Entire streets are closed off to traffic, and teams of energetic dancers compete for the grand prize in the heat of mid-summer. Its relatively short history (from 1954) gives this dance festival its contemporary feel. Unlike some traditional dance festivals, Yosakoi teams are free to choreograph new routines. A common thread is the wooden clappers, called Naruko, which are held by each dancer. Many teams use the original ‘Seicho Odori’ dance, and Yosakoi-bushi song as their inspiration. This is an ideal time to visit Kochi – but book accommodation early!