The Greatest Cultural Festival in Nagoya, Yattokame Cultural Festival DOORS 2023

Nagoya hosts throughout the year multiple exciting annual events, seasonal festivals, Samurai parades, and special cultural events for all kinds of audiences. During autumn, one of the greatest cultural festivals is the Yattokame Culture Festival.

The Yattokame is a journey through Japan’s traditional performing arts, history, and culture. In 2023, it will be held from October 28th to November 19th. For almost an entire month, you can enjoy a wide variety of Nagoya’s traditional entertainments: Noh theater plays, Kyogen comedic performances, traditional Geisha and Maiko dances, street Kabuki plays, walking tours, and workshops.

Starting this year, the festival is changing its name to ‘Yattokame Cultural Festival DOORS,’ but what remains the same is the unique opportunity it offers to experience Nagoya’s traditional cultural scene.

Keeping the Culture of Nagoya Alive

Yattokame Cultural Festival
The main character of Yattokame Festival DOORS. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Yattokame is a word from the Nagoya dialect, and means “a long time (since the last time)” or “it’s been a while (since I last saw, mailed, or talked to you)”.

Much of Japan’s performing arts have their roots in the bustling streets where performers entertained the masses. These performers created a cultural community that, even today, Nagoya’s locals strive to keep alive. This is their legacy and their pride.

Culture is something that lives, meant to be shared and passed on to the future. Tourism is one of the crucial industries that supports, promotes, and facilitates exchanges with the local culture. Therefore, foreign visitors are warmly welcomed to the Yattokame Cultural Festival DOORS.

Get to know more about Nagoya Local Food with our Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour.

Specialties of Nagoya food tour

Variety Is the Spice of Life

The Yattokame Cultural Events are divided into four types:
Urban Performances, Traditional Performing Arts, Workshops, and Walking Tours. Let’s look at them in detail.

Urban Performances

Many streets and stages in the city will hold different genres of performances.


Yattokame Kyogen
During a Kyogen play. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Kyogen is a brief comic interlude that is usually played between acts of Japanese Noh plays (lyric drama). Performances are short and involve elements of slapstick and satire using an archaic version of Japanese. This year’s chosen Kyogen is called “Kobuuri (Kelp Seller)”.
*Free event.

Street Kabuki

Yattokame Street Kabuki
During Street Kabuki play. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama that emerged during the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Originally played on the streets, street Kabuki is one of the most representative performances of the Yattokame Cultural Festival DOORS.

The Kabuki play for 2023 will be “The Eight Views of Nagoya Tokiwazu”, scripted and directed by Kazumasa Nishikawa (head of the acclaimed Nishikawa School of Nihon Buyo)
*Free event.

Shamisen Lute and Tabla Drum Performance

Pakidesat will be performing Shamisen and Tabla. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Over the course of history, music has played an intricate role in all cultures, particularly traditional folk songs that serve as a bridge between cultures, fostering deep emotional connections.

The Shamisen, a traditional Japanese lute, is characterized by its small square body and a long-necked, fretless design, featuring three twisted-silk strings. At this event, you’ll have the opportunity to experience it in harmony with a Tabla (an Indian drum), creating a truly unique performance. The group Pakidesat will be presenting nostalgic Shamisen folk songs with a modern twist, ensuring that people of all ages can appreciate this musical fusion.

*Free event

Shachihoko Challenge

Yattokame Shachihoko
Some challengers doing the Shachihoko pose. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

The Sachihoko dance, which originated from Nihon Buyo, is a classical Japanese dance. This dance is a trademark of Meigiren, the Nagoya Geisha Association, and it is a required skill for all Maiko and Geisha of this area.

Challenge yourself and participate in the Shachihoko Challenge!

Here is a video demonstration about how to dance, so you can try it at home.

Stage Performances

The most classic Japanese performing arts will be held on the most traditional stages.

Noh Theater

Yattokame Noh
During Noh Theatre play. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Noh theater combines elements of dance, drama, music, and poetry into one highly aesthetic stage art. Many of the characters including spirits, demons, gods, and women are portrayed by actors wearing extremely detailed masks and beautiful and luxurious garments.

For 2023, the chosen Noh performance will include the Noh play “Tsuchigumo” and the comical Kyogen play “Busshi”.
*Paid event. Advance booking is required.

Learn more about this event and buy tickets here (Japanese only)

Traditional Japanese Dining with Parlor Games and Shows (Ozashiki Asobi)

Yattokame Ozashiki Asobi
Mameka, one of Nagoya’s geishas during the Ozashiki Asobi. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Enjoy elegant traditional Geisha entertainment while savoring a delicious seasonal Kaiseki dinner, a sophisticated Japanese haute cuisine.

You will be able to spend a delightful time watching Maiko and Geisha dance and performances up close. You will also have the opportunity to chat and play a variety of traditional Japanese games with these amazing artists.

This year Ozashiki Asobi will be performed in English for English speakers so you can fully enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
*Paid event. Advance booking is required.

Learn more about this event and buy tickets here (Japanese only)

Vegan Nagoya Local Food Cooking Experience Banner


Wasui Koan tea room. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

One of the workshop options for 2023 will be the Tea Ceremony Experience Workshop for Children, which will be held in the newly-opened tea room “Wasui Koan” in Endoji. This workshop will undoubtedly create memories that kids will cherish for a long time. It is available for college students and younger, and it will be held in 5 different time slots.
*Paid event. Advance booking is required.

Learn more about this event and buy tickets here (Japanese only)

Nagoya Walking Tours

Yattokame Walking Tours
Participants during one of the walking tours around Nagoya. Image via Yattokame Bunkasai

Explore the city with new eyes together with local tour guides. From visiting the biggest central fish market in Japan to the most iconic sites, and secret spots of the city. There are plenty of walking tours awaiting you. 
*Paid event. Advance booking is required.

Learn more about this event and buy tickets here (Japanese only)

Alternatively, you can participate in a Street Food Tour of Osu. Book your tour today!

Street Food Walking Tour of Osu

One thing that you need to know before attending any event is that almost all these events are in Japanese language. So maybe sometimes it will be hard to understand, even for Japanese people. But some events like Street Kabuki, Noh, or Kyogen are fun even without understanding Japanese. 

With the Yattokame Cultural Festival DOORS, you will probably find a new way to discover and enjoy Nagoya.

Yattokame Cultural Festival DOORS (やっとかめ文化祭DOORS)
Date: October, 28 to November, 19, 2023
Location: Various locations in central Nagoya
💻 Website

This post was last updated in October 2023
Although we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, please note that changes may occur nonetheless. We recommend that you confirm any relevant information such as event cancellations or changes, opening hours, or possible restrictions, using a direct source. Please keep in mind that these sources might be in Japanese only.

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Sumo, Sake, and Japan Crafts Expert in JapanImmerse yourself in the heart of Japanese culture with me, I am, a Spanish entrepreneur living over 16 years in Japan. My extensive experience has made me not just a guide, but a cultural bridge, connecting travelers to the authentic spirit of Japan.From the electrifying arenas of sumo wrestling to the delicate world of sake brewing and the timeless elegance of Japanese crafts, my journey is a tapestry of rich cultural encounters. I am passionate about sharing these unique experiences, offering a glimpse into Japan's soul through its traditions and hidden gems.Join me, and together let's explore the depth and beauty of Japan. Whether you're a sumo enthusiast, a sake aficionado, or a lover of artisanal crafts, I am here to guide you through an unforgettable cultural adventure.Discover the Essence of Japan with me.

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