The traditional Kagoshima song "Hanya-bushi" is a song made for dance with roots in the Amami region of Japan's southern islands. Originators mixed those light rhythmed roots and incorporated them into a performance piece, including the chanting "Hanya Yoiyasaa," and hand held instruments such as drums and flutes for an elaborate and gorgeous stage production. The theme for the energetic Daihanya is "Soar High! Kagonma Yosakoi Spring Festival!!" "Kagonma" is how locals call their home city of Kagoshima. The contest venue for the Daihanya is also the perfect location to gaze upon Mt. Sakurajima, one of the few active volcanoes in the world. There are also sub-venues held in different locations throughout the city showing Hanya performances making for a lively city center full of dancing, souvenir produce and other events for a whole day of festival fun.
The Daihanya Contest is held over two days with entries from over 80 dance teams in and outside of Kagoshima Prefecture. Kagoshima's symbol, Mt. Sakurajima has displayed fierce eruptions since ancient times and continues to show its activeness. You won't want to miss the festival dancers perform with this grand landmark in the back. Participating teams tour the different stages of the city. The finale includes performances by all teams who performed over the two days dancing all together on the main stage, a truly impressive sight.
From 4:00pm on the second day, the contest final is held on the main stage to decide the winner.
You will definitely want to rest in a hot bath after a full day of playing at the festival. Thanks to Mt. Sakurajima that stands over entire city and the festival venues, the city's bath houses are all natural hot springs. How luxurious!
Stopping in for a dip in a hot bath house (Sento) might just be the best opportunity to communicate with and get to know the locals. (picture taken from the Kagoshima Sun Royal Hotel)
Please be cautious when crossing streets and playing close to ocean waters with children.
Access to Kagoshima City
Kagoshimachuo Station on Kyushu Shinkansen, Kagoshima Main Line, Ibusuki Makurazaki Line, Nippo Main Line
[Nearest Bus Stop]
Taking any bus towards City Hall (Shiyakusho), possible stops include Kagoshimachuo Station, Tenmonkan, Izuro.
[Nearest Tram Stop]
Taking any tram towards Kagoshimachuo Station, possible stops include Kagoshimachuo eki-mae, Tenmonkan dori, Izuro dori, Kagoshimaeki-mae.
Kagoshimachuo Station, Tenmonkan, Dolphin Port, Kagoshima Station and several locations throughout central city Kagoshima
15min ride on the City Tram from Kagoshimachuo Station to the main stage venue. 25min walk.
To get around from venue to venue, it is convenient to use the one day pass available for Bus and Tram (600 yen).
One day passes can be bought at the Tram office in front of station, or directly from the Bus driver.