Activities - Events & Festivals

See and Take Part in Japanese Puppetry at the Iida Puppet Festa
Iida Culture Hall , others : 飯田文化会館ほか

Watch a Puppet Show in Iida, One of Japan’s Top Puppetry Centers.

Southern Nagano


Iida's Puppet Festa showcases Iida City's heritage as Japan's Puppet Theater Capital. See performances of everything from traditional Japanese 'bunraku' puppetry to classical and modern European puppetry troupes.


Iida City is at the crossroads of Eastern and Western puppetry. Known as "Puppet Show Town", Iida has two puppetry theaters, Kuroda Puppetry and Imada Puppetry. They have histories that back over 300 years. Every August, the entire city of Iida becomes host and stage of Japan's biggest puppetry festival. Theater troupes from across Japan, Asia, and as far away as Europe congregate at Iida, with the fair featuring various forms and styles of puppetry from traditional ‘bunraku’ hand and shadow puppets to more modern forms of object theater, pantomime, and ventriloquism. The puppet shows are held at over 100 venues throughout the city. In addition, there is a parade featuring the puppetry groups as well as hands-on workshops and a midnight theater.
Those who wish to learn more about Iida's puppetry heritage can visit the Iida City Kawamoto Kihachiro Puppet Museum. Kawamoto-san was a master puppeter
and is best known for his work on national broadcaster NHK's long running TV series, Romance of the Three Kingdomss (1982-84) and The Tale of the Heike (1993-94). His puppet creations for the shows are considered to be works of art as well as examples of traditional craftsmanship.


2017 dates are August 1st thru August 6th. For detailed schedules, see the official website.
Cost / Price of Admission
Festival button (700 yen) allows access to most events. Can be purchased at Iida City businesses, tourism office and at the individual theater sites. (Some performances require an additional entrance fee, 500-2500 yen.)
Time Required
Varies by show
Not required(Not required. Advance tickets for shows requiring separate entrance fees can be purchased starting 28-June, 2015.)
Foreign Languages
(English brochure available. Guidance at the venues is in Japanese.)


tel : +81(0)265-23-3552fax : +81(0)265-23-3533Official site

Access / Location

By Train
From Iida Station(JR Iida Line), 
By Car
From Iida IC, 
5-5-1 (120 various locations throughout the city) Takaha, Iida 395-0051

Nearby Attractions

Sightseeing Spots