Festivals & Events
Aomori Nebuta Festival 青森ねぶた祭り
Breathtaking three-dimensional floats light up the night in unbelievable ways
The Aomori Nebuta Festival is a summer festival held every August 2 to 7 that is considered one of the most fabulous events in all of Tohoku . The giant papier-mache dolls are incredible, which is why more than 3 million people come to visit each year.
- Giant 3-D nebuta that parade through Aomori City
- Getting hands-on by renting a haneto costume
- The two-hour fireworks display to close the festivities on the last day
How to Get There
The festival is impossible to miss when in Aomori City .
Aomori City is easily accessible from Tokyo. It's about four hours on the shinkansen to reach Shin-Aomori. From here, you can access the parade route easily on foot.
The floats are stabled at Rassera Land, located next to the ASPM building along the waterfront, a ten-minute walk from Aomori Station.
Not what we called papier-mache
The Nebuta are built locally by teams of people who take a full year to design and construct the floats. They are often as wide as nine meters and as tall as five meters. The figures depicted are usually mythical figures, gods and spirits, local personalities, kabuki actors, or even TV characters, especially from historical "taiga" dramas.
There are two dozens of the brightly lit nebuta. The parade is held at night throughout the festival, except on the last day, when it is in the afternoon. The festival closes with a two-hour fireworks show, best viewed from along the waterfront or from Aomori Bay Bridge.
Put on the costume to join dancing
The nebuta are accompanied by large groups of taiko drummers, flutes, hand cymbal players, and hundreds of dancers, and audience participation is welcomed. You, too, can join in on the fun, provided you wear the haneto dancing costumes that are sold or rented around Aomori during the season. Costumes rent for around 3,000 yen.