Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival
Towering paper lantern sculptures light up the city streets of Goshogawara
Aomori Prefectural Tourism Federation
A vibrant summer affair, the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is one of the largest events of the Tsugaru region of Aomori Prefecture in Tohoku. Huge 23-meter tall floats, featuring towering tachineputa paper lanterns, are paraded through the streets of Goshogawara to the elated chants of its carriers, festival dancers and locals. Troupes of traditional Japanese performers play bamboo flutes, drums and bells, while onlookers are encouraged to join in the revelry.
Tachineputa lanterns are made of washi paper, sculpted over frames into giant beasts and mythical and historical figures. Painted in bright colors, lit from within and attached to wheeled floats, each one weighs around 19 tons. Yet, for the festival, they are hand pulled by a crew of hardworking participants. The chants of “Yattemare!” “Go get them!” hark back to when the event was a more raucous and competitive affair, and pullers of rivalry floats frequently broke into playful fights.
Fifteen floats of different sizes and forms hit the streets during the festival, three of which are also regularly exhibited at the Tachineputa no Yakata museum in Goshogawara.
How to get there
7 minutes walk from JR Goshogawara Station