The Aomori Nebuta Festival is a Japanese fire festival held annually between August 2nd and 7th in Aomori city. Every year more than 3 million visitors gather for the festivities from all over Japan and abroad to attend. During the festival, over twenty dynamic nebutas – massive lanterns floats based on kabuki or mythical stories – parade through the city of Aomori. On the evenings of August 2nd through 6th and daytime of the 7th, colorfully dressed Haneto (nebuta dancers) as well as flutists and drummers convey the nebuta floats through the city. On the night of the 7th, the nebutas are placed in boats and ferried around the Aomori Bay as fireworks light up the night sky to conclude the festival.
The Aomori Nebuta Festival has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Japan in 1980.
Origin of Aomori Nebuta
Aomori Nebuta Festival is thought to have originated from the Tanabata festival, but its real roots are unknown.
It is believed that the Tanabata Festival from China and the cultural traditions of Tsugaru region blended together. People began to make lanterns with paper, bamboo, and candle, which over the years changed in shape and size to the current nebuta.
In the old days, the nebutas were made by the people of different towns and were passed on through generations. Nowadays, it has become more common for the nebutas to be made by businesses and organizations. The nebutas have grown in size and the Nebuta Festival has become one of the most popular festivals of Japan. As the lanterns were once lit with candles, the festival is still considered a fire festival.
How to Participate in the Nebuta Festival
The nebuta dancers who jump and dance as they shout “Rassera, rassera” are called haneto. Anyone who is dressed in the haneto’s dress can participate in the festival.
[Haneto Dress Rental]
Rental fee: Around ¥4,000 for the set (tabi socks, zori sandals, and hanagasa hats are available for additional cost)
Nebuta Rasse Land
To prepare you for the excitement of the Nebuta Festival, you may also want to visit the nebuta builder’s huts. 22 of them are set up in the Aoi-umi Park next to ASPAM (Aomori Prefectural Center for Tourism and Industry) from spring to summer every year. The Nebuta Rasse Land is within an 8-minute walk from JR Aomori Station.
Address 2-1 Yasukata Aomori-shi (By Aomori Prefectural Center for Tourism and Industry)
Duration May – August 7th
- August 2nd – August 7th Annually ・August 1st 18:00～21:00 Eve Festival, 19:00～20:40 Asamushi Onsen Fireworks Festival ・August 2nd – 3rd (Evening)19:10～21:00 Parade of Children Nebutas and Large Nebutas ・August 4th – 6th (Evening)19:10～21:00 Parade of Large Nebutas ・August 7th (Daytime/Evening)13:00～15:00 Parade of Large Nebutas / 19:15～21:00 Aomori Nebuta Ocean Parade, Aomori Fireworks Festival
- Central part of Aomori-shi
- Aomori Tourism and Convention Association
- Telephone Number
- Paid Reserved Seat ¥2,600 and up per person
Reserved seats become available the end of June.
*Seats other than the reserved seats are free of charge.
Contact：Aomori Tourism and Convention Association 017-723-7211
- Within walking distance from JR Aomori Station
- http://www.nebuta.jp/foreign/english.htmlSee trip advisor
- Free Wi-Fi
- Tax Free
- Parking Lot
- Face Masks