This is a rare opportunity to watch a performance of 'gagaku,' Japan's oldest form of classical music in Minokamo, Gifu. Then, try wearing a 'shozoku' (gagaku performer's costume) for a photoshoot, or learn to play gagaku instruments!
'Gagaku,' which literally translates to "elegant music," is Japan's oldest form of classical music. Its roots go all the way back to the 5th century, but it was perfected as an art form in the 10th century. Drawing influence from songs and dances from ancient Japan and across Asia, gagaku consists of songs played on wind, string, and percussion instruments — and accompanied by dances. It's also known as "imperial court music" because it has enjoyed the patronage of the Japanese Imperial Family since ancient times. The influence of gagaku even extends beyond Japan. Gagaku performances have been held overseas, and UNESCO has also recognized its unique cultural value and heritage. To this day, gagaku is still played at imperial functions. While gagaku performances are occasionally held for the general public in theaters, it is still not easy to catch a performance, let alone try your hand at this musical art. At the city of Minokamo in Gifu Prefecture, you'll have a rare, valuable opportunity to learn about gagaku from a passionate community of gagaku performers. You'll watch a captivating performance. Then, you can dress up as a 'shozoku' (gagaku performer's costume) for a photoshoot, or you can try playing gagaku instruments yourself. Come visit Minokamo to enjoy and experience gagaku for yourself, and to learn from experts!