There are roughly 8 areas in Japan. One of them, Tohoku region that is made up of 6 prefectures becomes special in summer. Each prefecture has a unique summer festival and hold it in summer at the same time. Looking, feeling and atmosphere are all different in each place. Today I will show you two of them. I would like you to go see such wonderful, elegant and enchanting festivals in person someday.

1. Nebuta festival in Aomori prefecture

Nebuta float

Speaking of the festival of Aomori, it is Nebuta festival. People walk in city pushing, pulling and sometimes spinning Nebuta for it to look like it is alive. They say Nebuta is based on Tanabata festival from Nara period and then mixed with some traditions in Aomori prefecture. The name Nebuta comes from an strong accent for some words. Nebuta float is made from many parts with lots of work. The frame is made from wood, wires and strings. When the frame is finished, washi paper are stuck on it and paint it with a special ink. They say it takes around three months to make it. You will get amazed by Nebuta made by lots of effort of them. It is grand and exquisite. You can be part of Nebuta festival as a dancer called haneto. You can sing a song and dance in haneto costume at the festival. Together make the festival more excited!

Haneto costume

2. Kanto festival in Akita prefecture

In this festival, people lift up a long bamboo pole with many lanterns in different ways. It is said that the pole means rice plant and the festival goes for rice field gods. They lift the pole with their hands, shoulders, forehead or hips. Some skillful people do another thing such as spinning Japanese umbrella while lifting it. Can you believe this? Amazing, right? In addition, they add another bamboo pole to the one while lifting. You can see incredible technique of them. There is nothing quite like Kanto festival. The scene of when all the pole stands up at the same time is really fantastic. The pole is really heavier than you can think. A bigger one is about 50kg, but people lift it up with the part of their body. On top of that, when they take it over to someone, they do this keeping lifting it up. I never saw someone dropped it. I’m sure you will be absorbed in a beautiful sight of many lanterns up in the sky, but do not forget to watch amazing techniques of skillful people as well.



1.ねぶた祭り in 青森県


2.竿燈祭り in 秋田県


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