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Aomori Nebuta 2023

Enormous lantern-floats with human figures and intense dancing make this summer festival extraordinary

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Being one of the Three Big Fire Festivals, the Aomori Nebuta Festival is something out of ordinary. Local participants construct about two dozen floats using metal frames and washi paper that can reach 5 meters in height and 9 meters in width. They can bear the images of gods, heroes, or historical figures. The magical floats attract more than 3 million tourists to Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture, every August.

Nebuta is a float of a brave warrior that is carried through the center of the city. The floats also often depict gods, mythical figures from both Japanese and Chinese culture, or even kabuki actors, and characters from NHK Taiga Drama historical TV series. Nebuta is always accompanied by taiko drummers, flute and hand cymbals players, as well as dancers wearing special haneto costumes. The procession moves through the city calling passers-by to participate with the chant called Rasserā, passing National Route 4, Shinmachi Street, Kenchō Street, and Aomori Heiwa Park. The starting point of the parade is the intersection between Shinmachi Street and Yanagimachi Street. A 3-km parade route features reserved seating available from Ticket Pia and convenience stores. Tourists can participate in processions as long as they are wearing haneto costumes. The costume can be bought in local grocery stores or rented from a rental shop.

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