The Takayama festival, Yatai Kaikan, is Takayama's biggest festival. During the festival floats are walked through the city. Every year half a million visitors are drawn to watch these beautifully decorated floats. The floats are centuries old, some from the 17th century. Some have marionettes on them that are guided by very skilled puppeteers, handling 36 strings.
The festival is held in April and October. At other times the floats are at display in a hall next to Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine.