Nebuta Matsuri (Festival) Aomori Show mapShow gallery

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  • Nebuta Matsuri (Festival) In Aomori

  • Nebuta Matsuri (Festival) In Aomori

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Facts & Figures

In Japan, Aomori Nebuta Matsuri happens to be one of the most spectacular and colorful festivals held in August, each year without fail. It is one of the most famous festivals around, and also happens to be among the Three Greatest festivals of the Tohoku, Japan Region known as the Sandai Matsuri. The festival is held in Aomori City, located at the Northern tip of Honshu in the Tohoku area. The area is famous for its historic castle, Hirosaki-jo, as well as its apples. Though historians cannot agree on how the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri began, there is a belief that the nebula floats were an invention of General Sakanoue used during the battles of 800’s. It is believed that the General, together with his army created gruesome creatures from bamboo and cloth with the aim of scaring away their enemies.

  • Festival Information:
  • The festival takes place in Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture from the second day of August and lasts till the Seventh of August. Daily parades start at seven in the evening and lasts for two hours ending at nine. Entry to the show is free, though reserved seating is also available.

Highlights

The festival is colorful and features enormous floats illuminated using lanterns. Nebuta is a term used to refer to the floats all which feature mythical Japanese characters, kabuki actors as well as samurai warriors. As the floats get paraded, they are accompanied by taiko dancers and drums dressed in traditional costumes referred to as haneto. The highlight of Aomori Nebuta Matsuri is the final day of the festival when the floats get pulled around the city by chanting participants organized into teams. The floats, which take a year to design and built, are constructed by local groups using painted washi paper placed over bamboo frames. Hundreds of light bulbs are then woven through the floats so as to illuminate the parade. People attending the festival are always encouraged to participate in the proceedings, and people wearing haneto costumes get invited to join the festivities. Costumes can be purchased in shops located around the city, or rented for the day from stores located on the festival route. A parade takes place each night starting at sunset when floats get wheeled into the streets of downtown Aomori. On the last Aomori Nebuta Matsuri festival day (August 7th) the action starts at noon and lasts up to three in the afternoon. It is a festival that you would not want to miss as it attracts millions of visitors from all over.

Location Show map

Aomori is located at the northern tip of the Honshu Island.

How to get to Aomori?

  • 80min from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Aomori by JAL or
  • 3,5hrs from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori by Hayate train/JR Tohoku Shinkansen or
  • 10,5hrs from Tokyo to Aomori Station by Konan Bus, JR Tohoku Bus and Keikyu Bus

Sightseeing spots in Aomori

Top:

Aomori Prefectural Museum of Art - visit there the outdoor exhibition of the Jomon time (10 000 - 400 BC)

Munakata Shiko Kinenkan - museum with a great collections of art by Munakata Shiko

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

August

Nebuta Matsuri (2nd till 7th)
One of Japan's most famous festivals with thousands of visitors is a must-see during your stay. Huge illuminated floats are carried through the city, accompanied by dance and singer perfromances.