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Aomori Nebuta Matsuri
Nebuta Festival is Aomori's summer tradition that draws over three million visitors every year. Nebuta is an enormous paper float on which majestic warriors or animals are painted. The gorgeous floats parade into the city followed by dancers called haneto. Over 20 large floats participate in this event every year, and tens of thousands of people dance around them. Participants shout "Rasera, rasera" accompanied by taiko drums and traditional flutes. The origin of Nebuta Matsuri is uncertain, but it has appeared in a document of the Edo Period over 300 years ago.
- City center of Aomori City, Aomori prefecture
- Contact No.
- 5-min walk from JR Aomori Station
- Official Website
- Time Required
- From August 2nd to 7th every year
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Majestic Enormous Nebuta
The highlight of Nebuta Matsuri is the large floats parading into the city. It measures 5 m in height, 9 m in width, 7 m in depth and 4 tons in weight, and 800 - 1,000 light bulbs are used on it. The paintings are from a scene of Kabuki (Japanese traditional play), Japanese myths or bushi warriors. You will be amazed by the powerful floats that are beautifully colored with immense attention to detail.
Haneto Dancers Enhance the Festival
The dancers who dance around the float and enhance the atmosphere are called haneto. About 1,000 - 2,000 haneto dancers participate per float. They jump and dance shouting "Rasera."
People Who Support Nebuta Matsuri
In the festival, gorgeous floats and lively dancers always draw people's attention, but many people are supporting Nebuta Matsuri behind the scenes as well. Have you ever wondered "How does the huge float move?" This enormous Nebuta is entirely operated by humans called "hikite," along with musicians called "hayashikata" who play the taiko drums and flutes as well as "baketo" who liven up the festival with eccentric makeup and costumes. Hikite
Floating Nebuta on the Sea
On the last day of the festival, the Nebuta that won prizes are carried out to sea on a boat. Traditional Japanese instruments are played in the background which creates a beautiful setting on the ocean.
A superb firework display is held along with the floating Nebuta on the sea. Over 11,000 fireworks are displayed. A magical atmosphere of beautiful floats and stunning fireworks are on display in front of you on the ocean. This dramatic presentation is the crowning finale of the festival.
Nebuta-no-ie Warasse is a tourist facility where visitors can learn and experience all about Nebuta Matsuri. You can see large Nebuta floats and learn about the history of the festival. On the weekends and holidays, it provides live music called hayashi that is played in the festival, and you can experience haneto dancing as well. We recommend that you stop by this museum before the festival begins.