The YOSAKOI Soran Festival was born when a group of youths declared that "The streets are our stage!"
after witnessing the magic and passion of the historical YOSAKOI Festival in Kochi.
Beginning with only ten teams and 1,000 dancers with 200,000 people cheering them on,
the festival continued to grow bigger with each year and now proudly hosts roughly 30,000 dancers and two million visitors.
The festival has gained recognition both within and beyond Hokkaido and even overseas,
earning it the honour of being the event marking the start of summer.
Every team designs their own colourful costumes and choreographs their own distinctive dance set to lively unique music, which results in no two teams being the same - making sure to keep the spectators constantly engaged and entertained. Not limited to Hokkaido, YOSAKOI Festival events can also be seen being held in various places across the country, proving its growing popularity with local residents as a celebration regardless of age or occupation.
Naruko: These were originally hung in fields to drive away birds with their sound. Ever since their incorporation into the YOSAKOI Festival dances in Kochi, they are now invaluable symbolic props used in present-day and nationwide YOSAKOI related events.
Soran Bushi: A type of traditional Hokkaido folk song which the fishermen would sing as a labour song when they go out to fish for herring. One can feel the massive strength that radiates as the rhythm of the "Yaren soran!" cry in the song is matched to the tugging of ropes and pulling of the net.
There are approximately 20 sites for YOSAKOI Soran Festival in Sapporo.
For the duration of the event, sightseeing spots,
commercial facilities, and major streets transform into stages for dancing.
Most sites can be entered freely without charge.
The excitement of the festival is not just for viewing.
There are also programs where you can join in on the dancing.
Venue/Odori Park Nishi 7-chome
The only area during the festival where the audience is also encouraged to join in the dances.
The clappers and happi coats are also available for rentals so you can take part
and feel like one of the dancers themselves!
16:00 Wa-Odori Square Reception (Odori Park Nishi 7-chome)
16:10 Practice the dance (Wa-Odori Square)
17:00 Short break and walk over to the performance venue
17:30 Actual performance! (Held at the Odori Parade Site. Note: Performance is done five times)
18:10 End of performances, disbandment
End of performances, disbandment