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[Aomori/Tohoku three major festivals] I want to go at least once! Explaining the basic information, charm, and ways to enjoy the “Aomori Nebuta Festival”

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Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the three major festivals in Tohoku. There are probably many people who want to see it at least once in their lifetime. This time, we will introduce the basic information you need to know about the profound "Aomori Nebuta Festival", its charm, and how to enjoy it.

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1. What is “Aomori Nebuta Festival”?

1-1 Origin and history of “Aomori Nebuta Festival”

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is a famous festival that has been designated as a national important intangible folk cultural property. It is popular to see the impressive floats called ``Nebuta'' and the way the Haneto dancers liven up the atmosphere while chanting ``Rassera, Rassela!''. The origin of the Aomori Nebuta Festival is said to be the floating of lanterns during the Tanabata Festival, but the origin is not clear. It is thought that the Tanabata Festival, which was introduced from China during the Nara period, was combined with Tsugaru customs and events such as sending spirits away, and changed over time. The Tanabata Festival was an event held on the night of July 7th to pray for good health by throwing away impurity (injuries) into rivers and the sea along with lanterns. Because the lanterns were called ``Nebuta,'' it became ``Nebuta Nagashi,'' and the current Aomori Nebuta Festival's Nebuta floats are a remnant of that tradition. There is also a theory that the word ``Neputa'' comes from the word ``sleep,'' meaning ``sleep-nagashi'' to ward off drowsiness.

1-2 When is “Aomori Nebuta Festival” held?

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is held from August 2nd to 7th every year. On the final day, August 7th, there will be a Nebuta float on the sea. Please check the official website etc. for schedule etc. in advance.

WEB Aomori Nebuta Festival official website

1-3 Where and how to view?

The Nebuta route is basically from Shinmachi near JR Aomori Station to Shiyakusho-mae, but the route is announced every year on the official website. In addition, paid viewing seats (reserved seats) are available for individuals and groups, and paid wheelchair-only seats are also available for viewing the event while in a wheelchair (those with a caregiver must purchase a separate paid viewing seat). Viewing locations are on the national highways and sidewalks around the route, but there may be restrictions on national highways depending on the time of day. It can be viewed freely on sidewalks such as Shinmachi/Honmachi-dori, Hakko-dori, and Heiwa Koen-dori (excluding paid viewing seats and areas used by shopping district associations).

1-4 Access to the venue

The main means of transportation are airplanes and bullet trains, but if speed is important to you, airplanes are recommended. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo to Aomori Airport, and about 1 hour and 25 minutes from Osaka. It takes about 25 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus from Aomori Airport to JR Aomori Station. By Shinkansen, the Tohoku Shinkansen takes you directly from Tokyo Station to Shin-Aomori Station in approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes. From Hokkaido, take the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station to Shin-Aomori Station, about an hour away. It takes about 6 minutes from Shin-Aomori Station to JR Aomori Station on the JR Ou Main Line.

2. Enjoy the “Aomori Nebuta Festival” to the fullest!

2-1 ``Nebuta House Wa Rasse'' where you can prepare for ``Aomori Nebuta Festival''

Nebuta House Wa Rasse, a 1-minute walk from JR Aomori Station, is a cultural and tourist exchange facility in Aomori City that is a tourist facility where you can experience the history and charm of the Aomori Nebuta Festival. The ``Nebuta Museum/Nebuta Hall'' on the first floor has a permanent display of large nebuta that were actually used in the festival. The second floor introduces the history of the Aomori Nebuta Festival. In addition to learning about Nebuta's style, changes in subject matter, and production techniques, you can also learn about the way Nebuta culture is transmitted from Aomori to the world. The facility also has a restaurant where you can eat while looking out at Aomori Port, and a shop selling Aomori's specialty products.

[Basic Information] Name Aomori City Cultural Tourism Exchange Facility “Nebuta House Wa Rasse”

Address 1-1-1 Yasukata, Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture

Contact 017-752-1311

WEB Nebuta House Wa Rasse official website

2-2 Enjoy the eve festival and get excited for the "Aomori Nebuta Festival"!

On August 1st, the day before the Nebuta Festival, an eve festival is held every year at Aoiumi Park (Rasseland). In addition to stalls and stalls, various events such as concerts and dance contests will be planned. In normal years, there will be an exhibition of the large nebuta festival floats, introductions of Miss Nebuta and Mr. Haneto, the nebuta masters who make nebuta, and performances of nebuta music. You'll be able to feel even better in preparation for the festival the next day.

【basic information】

Name: Aomori Nebuta Festival Eve Festival [Venue] Aoiumi Park (Rasseland)

Address: 2-1 Yasukata, Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture (Aspam side of the Tourist Product Center)

Contact 017-723-7211 (public corporation) Aomori Tourism and Convention Association

WEB Aomori City official website

2-3 Liven up the venue with Nebuta! Participate in the festival as Haneto

Haneto are dancers who liven up the festival together with Nebuta. In kanji, it is written as ``jumper'', and they jump and dance while chanting ``rassera''. One of the great appeals of the Aomori Nebuta Festival is that anyone wearing a Haneto costume can participate without pre-registration. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lottery system for pre-registration was introduced to participate, but I'm still happy to still have the chance to participate as a performer at the festival. Costumes can be purchased or rented. The official website introduces shops where you can purchase, rent, and wear kimonos. If you actually participate in the festival as a Haneto, you will have even more wonderful memories.

2-4 The final day is something to see! Nebuta Marine Operation & Fireworks Competition

On the night of August 7th, the last day of the Aomori Nebuta Festival, there will be a Nebuta float sailing on the sea. The sea navigation is reminiscent of the lantern floats of the Tanabata Festival, which is said to be the origin of this festival. Furthermore, the Aomori Fireworks Festival will be held at the same time, bringing the Aomori Nebuta Festival to its climax. The collaboration between the fantastical Nebuta floats floating on the sea and approximately 11,000 fireworks is a sight to behold! The moving finale is a must-see.

【basic information】

Name Aomori Fireworks Festival/Nebuta Marine Service [Venue] Aoiumi Park/New Chuo Pier

Address: 2-1 Shinmachi, Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture

Contact 017-723-7211 (Aomori Nebuta Festival Executive Committee Secretariat)

WEB Aomori Fireworks Festival official website

2-5 Let's enjoy Aomori's famous gourmet "Nokkedon"!

If you visit Aomori, you cannot miss the famous gourmet dish ``Nokkedon''. You can try it at the Aomori Gyosai Center, a market located about a 5-minute walk from the main exit of JR Aomori Station. ``Nokke-don'' is a unique style of seafood bowl that is made by toppings selected from the market and placed on top of rice. After purchasing a meal ticket at the Nokkedon Information Center at the entrance, first exchange it for a bowl of rice at a shop with a red sign in the market. Then, choose your favorite toppings from around 30 stores at the market and place them on your rice while exchanging them for a meal ticket. Each restaurant has different ingredients and the number of food tickets required, so before purchasing food tickets, research the market and exchange information with your friends to create your own special seafood bowl. In addition to seafood, they also have miso soup, pickles, and side dishes.

【basic information】

Name: Aomori Nokkedon

Address 1-11-16 Furukawa, Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture

Contact 017-763-0085

WEB Nokkedon Information Center official website

3. Recommended if you have time in your schedule! “Aomori Three Major Nebuta Festivals” and “Tohoku Three Major Festivals” Tour

3-1 [Enjoy plan] Enjoy Nebuta at “Aomori Three Major Nebuta Festivals”

In fact, in Aomori Prefecture, Nebuta Festivals are held in various parts of the prefecture from July to August. Among them, the ``Hirosaki Nebuta Festival'', which is characterized by its fan-shaped Nebuta, and the ``Goshogawara Tachi-Neputa'', which is characterized by its giant vertical nebuta over 20 meters in height, are known as the ``Aomori Nebuta Festival''. Together, they are known as the ``Aomori Three Major Nebuta Festivals''. It will be held at the same time as the Aomori Nebuta Festival, so you can even climb a ladder. How about the ``Aomori Three Major Nebuta Festivals'' tour where you can enjoy Nebuta festivals in three areas with different characteristics?

Goshogawara Tachiputa (Goshogawaratachi Neputa)

3-2 [Luxury Plan] Visit the “Four Great Festivals of Tohoku” while traveling

The ``Aomori Nebuta Festival,'' ``Akita Kanto Festival,'' and the ``Sendai Tanabata Festival'' have long been considered the ``Three Great Festivals of Tohoku,'' but in recent years, they have also been combined with the ``Yamagata Hanagasa Festival.'' It is said to be one of the "Four Great Festivals of Tohoku." These four festivals are held around the same time, so if your schedule and budget allow, you can organize a luxurious tour to visit the four major Tohoku festivals. It would also be a good idea to take an early Obon holiday and enjoy a luxurious plan that allows you to enjoy each of the festivals that are worth seeing, as well as local gourmet food, sightseeing spots, and hot springs.

Akita Kanto Festival

4. Learn, watch, and participate to enjoy the Aomori Nebuta Festival!

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is a popular festival not only in Japan but also among tourists from all over the world. You can have fun in a variety of ways, such as learning about the culture at facilities such as Nebuta House Wa Rasse, watching the festival, and even participating in the festival as a haneto. Why not take a trip to enjoy the Aomori Nebuta Festival?

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Yomiuri Travel is a comprehensive travel agency headquartered in Tsukiji, a town with a fish market, close to Ginza, a shopper's paradise. We will continue to disseminate information about the charms of Japan and introduce recommended activities and tours!

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