One of the more exciting day trips we have taken lately has been to the Karatsu Kunchi festival. During the festival, 14 giant floats called Hikiyama are pulled through the city by the 14 original families of the Karatsu area. The event has been going on for centuries (!!) now, but the current floats being used now are recreations that date from 1819-1870 as you can see from the photo that we obvious didn’t take. They were very impressive and the parade was quite exciting. Each float is pulled by nearly 100 people chanting and singing traditional songs. At the base of each float sit a dozen or so flutists and taiko drummers. The crowd was huge and the news estimated there were about 150,000 people are packed into the small, winding roads of the city.