Aomori Nebuta Matsuri
Aomori Nebuta Matsuri Reviews
A week long fire & float summer festival Aug 02, 2011
Held every year in the first week of August in Aomori City, the Aomori Nebuta Festival is considered one of the best matsuri (festival) in Japan.
Gigantic floats to small ones are parade in the streets carried by numerous people. These floats are made of bamboo structures, covered in thin, colored Japanese paper, with lightbulbs inside. The floats are usually figures of gods, demons, spirits and ancestors, said to be used to purify themselves and send the evil spirits away. These floats are accompanied by people dancing in native Nebuta costumes, while playing tunes on flutes and drums, and cheers, creating this party in the streets of Aomori!
The best part of this festival is that visitors are also invited to participate as dancers called hanetos. You can buy the costumes for approx 10,000 (US$100) or rent them at selected stores for 4,000yen (US$40) for the night of the festival. It was too late for me to rent the costume and I was too happy to just watch the parade.
I watched it the first night and the 2nd night. It was awesome fun!
(more photos of the festival on my blog: http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/92457/Aomori-Nebuta-Matsuri-first-night-8)
The floats are on display at Rassera Land next to the ASPM building by the city's waterfront during the day, where one can meet the designers, and the participants of the festival. It is a great opportunity to have an up-close photos of the floats! Other food vendors and performances are also held around the area.
At the last day of the festival, there are fireworks to celebrate successful festival.
How to get there:
The Nebuta Matsuri parade route is a three kilometer loop around central Aomori and is a five minute walk from JR Aomori Station. Rassera Land, where the floats are stabled, is located next to the ASPM building along the waterfront, a ten minute walk from JR Aomori Station.
Part of the Sweltering Summer in Japan 2011 travel blog
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