• Nebuta Festival's photo

Nebuta Festival

Aomori City, Hirosaki City, Goshogawara City


Summer in Aomori means nebuta festivals!

Floating out of darkness, richly colored festival floats shaped like human figures. Some of the most representative festivals of Japan’s northeast Tohoku region, nebuta festivals are an essential part of summer in Aomori. Nebuta festivals are held solely in 50 or so locations in Aomori Prefecture. Among these, there are three major nebuta festivals: Aomori Nebuta, Hirosaki Neputa, and Goshogawara Tachineputa. The Aomori Nebuta has been designated as an important intangible folk cultural heritage of Japan, a grand festival visited by 2 million people each year. Aside from the human-shaped nebuta floats, there are also parades of dancers and musical accompaniment. Festival season in the city is ubiquitously nebuta.

  • Nebuta Festival's photo
    ©Aomori Tourism and Convention Association
  • Nebuta Festival's photo
    ©Aomori Tourism and Convention Association
  • Nebuta Festival's photo
    ©Aomori Tourism and Convention Association

The fan-shaped neputa parade of Hirosaki Neputa.

One characteristic of the Hirosaki Neputa festival, firstly, is that it is pronounced neputa rather than nebuta. Its floats are topped with fan-shaped neputa figures based on paintings of warriors, such as the ancient Sangokushi chronicles. The chanting is also unique. There are three types of chants— which sound something like yayado and yare yare yare ya—which signify progress, pause, and return, and these lively chants take the festival to another level. Incidentally, the Aomori Nebuta and the Hirosaki Neputa festivals are held almost simultaneously. Since each is held over a week or so, it is definitely worth visiting both.

  • Nebuta Festival's photo
  • Nebuta Festival's photo
  • Nebuta Festival's photo
  • Nebuta Festival's photo

The Goshogawara Tachineputa festival sees the appearance of tower-shaped nebuta.

The last of the three major nebuta festivals is the Goshogawara Tachineputa festival, which is clearly very different from the others. Its nebuta floats are 20 meters or more in height! This is why they’re known as tachineputa (“towering neputa ”). The parade is composed of 15 tower-type nebuta floats. Surrounded by dancers, they create a fantastic atmosphere. There is also a Tachineputa museum in Goshogawara (home of the festival) that you can visit all year round to view the Tachineputa floats. Even if you can’t make it to Aomori in early August, you should visit this museum to get a taste of the nebuta atmosphere.

  • Nebuta Festival's photo
  • Nebuta Festival's photo
  • Nebuta Festival's photo

For reference

Aomori Nebuta

  • Venue
    Street in front of Aomori Station
  • Telephone
    017-723-7211 (Aomori Nebuta Executive Committee)
  • Period held
    August 1st to 7th
  • URL

Hirosaki Neputa

  • Venue
    Dotemachi, Hirosaki-shi & in front of Hirosaki Station
  • Telephone
    0172-35-1128 (Hirosaki Tourism Policy Division)
  • Period held
    August 1st to 7th

Goshogawara Tachineputa

Access

Aomori Neputa
  • Aomori Airport is a 50-minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
  • Aomori Airport is a 105-minute flight from Osaka International (Itami) Airport.
  • Aomori Station is 35 minutes by shuttle bus from Aomori Airport.
Hirosaki Neputa
  • Aomori Airport is a 50-minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
  • Aomori Airport is a 105-minute flight from Osaka International (Itami) Airport.
  • Hirosaki Station is 55 minutes by shuttle bus from Aomori Airport.
Goshogawara Tachineputa
  • Aomori Airport is a 50-minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
  • Aomori Airport is a 105-minute flight from Osaka International (Itami) Airport.
  • Aomori Station is 35 minutes by shuttle bus from Aomori Airport.
  • Goshogawara Station is 75 minutes via Kawabe Station from Aomori Station.

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