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Spirited away: Fukuoka abuzz with historic Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival

A Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival float is paraded through Fukuoka's Hakata Ward on July 13, 2018. (Mainichi)

FUKUOKA -- Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival floats were paraded around crowded downtown streets here on July 13 to the delight of spectators.

Floats representing local communities departed on a course from Gofukumachi intersection in Hakata Ward every five minutes from 3:30 p.m. and turned around in front of the city office in the Tenjin district of Chuo Ward. During the journey, prominent figures from all walks of life encourage the participants.

The floats will be paraded throughout their local communities on the evening of July 14.

The festival climaxes with a rowdy race in the early morning hours of July 15 where the floats battle along a 5-kilometer course through the city.

(Japanese original by Kenta Miyahara, Fukuoka News Department)

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