Hirosaki Neputa Festival

弘前ねぷたまつり

The Hirosaki Neputa Festival is a summer festival held in the old castle town of Hirosaki. About 80 neputas of various sizes – large fan-shaped floats depicting epic and fantastic images of warriors – parade through the town. In 1980, Hirosaki Neputa Festival was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Japan.
Hirosaki Neputa Festival is organized mainly by citizens of Hirosaki. Every year each neighborhood association and citizen group gather together to make elaborate fan-shaped neputas. The key feature of a neputa is the contrast between the gallant kagamie (front picture) and the elegant miokuri (back picture). The neputas parade through town accompanied by flute and taiko (Japanese drums) players. The festival is held annually between August 1st and 7th. The Hirosaki Neputa festival takes place every evening from August 1st to 6th and daytime of the 7th.


Origin of Neputa

Neputa is said to have originated from the event Nemuri Nagashi,a traditional event to banish the invisible sleep demon who makes people drowsy during the summer when farmwork is at its busiest. The use of lantern and light is thought to have stemmed from Nemuri Nagashi, but since evolved into the current neputa. 


The Highlight of Neputa Festival: the Ōdaiko 

The Ōdaikos (very large traditional drums) is one of the highlight of Hirosaki Neputa Festival. The sound of the ōdaiko is so profound that viewers feel the vibrations to their core. There are three ōdaikos in the city of Hirosaki. One of them is called Tsugaru Joppari Ōdaiko, which was recreated in 1970 based on the myth around the 3rd Tsugaru clan lord, Nobuyoshi. Joppari is an expression in Tsugaru dialect meaning “the stubbornness of people from Tsugaru”. This ōdaiko is 3.3 meters (10 feet) in diameter and weighs 2 tons (4000 lbs); it uses one uncut cow hide for each side of the drum and natural cedar from Akita for the body. The other two ōdaikos are known as Tsugaru Go Joppari Ōdaiko and Dotten Daiko.

General Information

Date
August 1st – 4th, August 5th and 6th, August 7th
Time
August 1st – 4th : Dotemachi Course 19:00~ August 5th and 6th: Station Front Course 19:00~ August 7th: Dotemachi Nanukabi Course 10:00~
Venue
Dotemachi Course, Station Front Course, Dotemachi Nanukabi Course
Address
青森県弘前市
Contact
Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center
Telephone Number
0172-37-5501
Prices
Paid Reserved Seats:Adult ¥1,800, Child ¥900
Sale begins around July 1st.
*Other seats are free of charge.
Contact: Hirosaki Tourism Convention and Association 0172-35-3131
Directions
JR Hirosaki Station Bus Stop
10 minutes on Dotemachi Loop 100 Yen Bus(¥100)
Get off at Shita Dotemachi Bus Stop
A few minutes walk
Sakura Ōdori Paid Reserved Seats (Dotemachi Course)

JR Hirosaki Station
30 Minute walk from JR Hirosaki Station
Sakura Ōdori Paid Reserved Seats (Dotemachi Course)
Website
Aomori Tourism and Convention Association, Aomori City Tourist GuideSee trip advisor

Basic Information

  • Multilingual
    Staff
  • Multilingual
    Signs
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Contactless
    Payments
  • Tax Free
  • Parking Lot
  • Barrier-Free
    Toilet
  • Barrier-Free

COVID-19 Prevention

  • Face Masks
    Required
  • Sanitizing
    Stations
  • Temperature
    Checks
  • Physical
    Distancing

MAP

Nearby sightseeing spots

Hirosaki City Tourist Center
Hirosaki City Tourist Center
more
Former Hirosaki City Library
Former Hirosaki City Library
more
Former To-o Gijuku Missionary Residence
Former To-o Gijuku Missionary Residence
more
Aomori Bank Memorial Hall (Former main branch of the 59th National Bank)
Aomori Bank Memorial Hall (Former main branch of the 59th National Bank)
more
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Notice


As of August 9, 2022, intense rain has been falling intermittently in Aomori Prefecture, and the risk of landslides, flooding, and flood damage is rapidly increasing, so please exercise extreme caution. In addition, warnings and advisories have been issued in many cities, towns, and villages. For more information, please refer to the "Aomori Disaster Prevention Portal".

Aomori Prefectural Tourism and International Strategy Bureau


Aomori Disaster Prevention Portal