Festivals & Events
The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri is a summer festival held every August 2-7 that is considered one of the greatest 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.
The Nebuta Matsuri parade follows a loop around central Aomori which the nearest part of the parade loop is a five-minute walk from JR Aomori Station.
During the festival, the entire route is extremely crowded, but you should be able to find a good viewing spot somewhere along the 3-kilometer loop.
The floats are stabled at Rassera Land, which is located next to the ASPM building along the waterfront, a ten-minute walk from JR Aomori Station.
There are two dozens of the brightly lit Nebuta. The parade is held at night through the festival, except on the last day, when the parade is in the afternoon. On that last day, the festival is closed with a 2-hour fireworks show, which is best viewed from along the waterfront, or from Aomori Bay Bridge.
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 9-meters and 5-meters tall. The figures depicted are usually mythical figures, gods and spirits, regional personalities, kabuki actors, or even TV characters, especially from historical "taiga" dramas.
Accompanied by large groups of taiko drummers, flutes, and hand cymbal players, as well as hundreds of dancers, 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 Prefecture during the season. Costumes rent for the resonable price of around 3000 yen.