Festivals & Events
Hachinohe Enburi Festival 八戸えんぶり
A three-day festival that celebrates spring's arrival with special folk dances
Hachinohe, a city on the coast of Aomori Prefecture , celebrates the coming of spring with an event called Hachinohe Enburi in mid-February.
- The enburi dances, which are a National Important Intangible Folk Property of Japan
- The eboshi hats that are shaped like a horse's neck
- The Kagaribi-enburi dances at night by bonfires
How to Get There
Hachinohe Enburi is held in the city center of Hachinohe, the second-largest city in Aomori Prefecture , and can be reached by train plus a short walk.
Hachinohe City can be accessed by Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo. Get off at Hachinohe Station and transfer to the Hachinohe Line. Hon-Hachinohe Station, the closest station to where the event is held, is located two stops away from Hachinohe Station.
The central festival locations of Shinra-inja Shrine, Hachinohe Public Hall, and the stage in front of the City Office are all a 15-minute walk from Hon-Hachinohe Station.
Farm tools to festivals
The Hachinohe Enburi is believed to have started during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Some retainers of the Nanbu clan's founder, Mitsuyuki Nanbu, were said to have started a drunken dance holding farm tools and celebrating rice-planting. This eventually led to the creation of the enburi dances.
Fast and slow
There are two types of enburi dances, Naga-enburi and Dosai-enburi. The Naga-enburi are slow and graceful, while the Dosai-enburi are lively and full of energy.
Both are performed by dancers wearing colorful costumes with the long, horse neck-shaped eboshi hat on top. The costumes and dances are a designated National Important Intangible Folk Property of Japan.
A fiery celebration every night
The festival closes each night with a bonfire, held in the public square in front of Hachinohe City Office. The performances at night have a dreamlike quality that is distinct from the events held all day.
Try the piping-hot amazake—a sweet, fermented rice drink—and Hachinohe senbei soup; these traditional treats will help you imagine yourself as a lord or lady in ancient Japan.