Festivals & Events
Hachinohe celebrates the coming of spring with Enburi. The Hachinohe Enburi takes place in mid-February, when slight and subtle changes beckon spring.
The Hachinohe Enburi festival 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 main festival locations of Shinra Jinja Shrine, Hachinohe Public Hall and the stage in front of the City Office are all a 15-minute walk from Hon-Hachinohe Station.
The Hachinohe Enburi is believed to have started during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Some retainers of the Nanbu Clan 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.
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.
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 dream-like quality that is dinstinct from the events held all day.
Try the piping hot sweet amazake and Hachinohe senbei soup; these traditional treats will help you imagine yourself as a lord or lady in ancient Japan.