“Nebuta matsuri” in Japan – JAPAN ROAD TRIP(ジャパンロードトリップ)
2024/6/26

“Nebuta matsuri” in Japan

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Have you ever experienced “Nebuta matsuri”(Nebuta Festival)?

What is “Nebuta matsuri”?

In 1980, Aomori’s Nebuta was classified as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan.

The Aomori Nebuta Festival, Japan’s fire festival, attracts around 2.7 million tourists annually.

Nebuta Q&A

Size of the Nebuta: The Nebuta measures 9m broad, 7m deep, and 5m high, including the cart (which has a height of about 2m). It weights a remarkable four tons, including the cart.

Creating a Nebuta: It takes roughly three months to make a Nebuta. After the festival, the Nebuta craftsmen begin planning for the next year.

Cost of Nebuta: Total of approximately 20 million yen.

What are Nebuta made of: The wire is covered with Japanese paper. Approximately 2,500 sheets of Japanese paper (hosho paper) the size of one side of a newspaper are used. In the past, the frame was made from bamboo, but now it is made from wire.

>Nebuta Q&A [Official]

Operation Schedule

August 2nd to 7th every year (excluding the eve of the festival)

August 1st:Eve of the event: Venue: Aoiumi Park Special Stage Time:6pm to 9pm (planned)

August 2nd and 3rd: Departure time for the Children’s Nebuta float will be starting at 7pm. Parade of children’s Nebuta (about 10 floats are planned), and huge Nebuta (roughly 15 floats are planned).

August 4th to 6th: Departure time of the first large Nebuta will start at 6:45pm. Large Nebuta parade (approximately 20 floats are planned)

The results will be compiled between August 2nd and August 5th, the winner of the Nebuta Grand Prize and other prize winners will be announced on August 6th. *The winning Nebuta will be available for viewing on the 6th.

August 7th: Departure time of the first large Nebuta will start at 1pm. Large Nebuta parade (approximately 20 floats are planned) From 7:15pm to 9pm the 70th Aomori Fireworks Festival and Nebuta sea parade will be held (venue: Aomori Port).

On the final day, August 7th, four large Nebuta (including the winning Nebuta) will be paraded around Aomori Port, marking the finale of the festival with fireworks.

>Nebuta Festival Timetable

Maritime transport and fireworks festival

The Aomori Fireworks Festival will be held at Aomori Port from 7:15pm to 9pm on August 7th.

Schedule: The Nebuta floats depart from Hamacho Pier at 6:30 AM, cruise off the coast of Aoi Umi Park from 7 PM to 8 PM, and arrive at Hamacho Pier at 8:40 PM.

The Nebuta are carried around Aomori Port on a barge as part of the marine parade. The Grand Prize, Governor’s Prize, and Mayor’s Prize Nebuta all take part. 

The fireworks display will include around 10,000 fireworks, which will be released alongside the “Nebuta” floating on the water to mark the festival’s finale!

Where can you see the maritime parade and fireworks display?

You can see it from the Tsutsumi Wharf of Aomori Port along the coast near the Memorial Ship Hakkoda Maru!

*Please keep in mind that there are some sections with spectator seats that are also unsafe, thus entry is not permitted.

Where are the seats for the sea parade and fireworks display ?

・S seats: 5,500 yen (shared for Aoi Umi Park, Aoi Umi Park West Side, and Shinchuo Pier)

・A seat: 4,500 yen (shared for Aoiumi Park, Aoiumi Park West Side, and Shinchuo Pier)

*Seats are on sale at the To-o Nippo newspaper, which is organizing the fireworks display. All seats are designated for pipe chairs.

*Sales will begin in early July. For more information, please contact the To-o Nippo Newspaper Business Division at 017-718-1135.

>To-o Nippo Business Division Seat Reservation Site [Official]

Route

The festival will take place in the center of Aomori City. It is a 10-minute walk from JR Aomori Station, 30 minutes by car from Aomori Airport, and 15 minutes by car from Aomori Chuo IC.

The route is approximately 3.1 kilometers long. Visitors will be able to see the Nebutas from the pedestrian walk as the Nebutas are paraded down the car lanes.

>Operation Schedule and Route [Official]

>Nebuta Festival Operation Video

About viewing “Nebuta matsuri”

Where can I see the parade?:

Paid viewing chairs have been installed along the route’s sidewalks. You can view the parade without purchasing a seat elsewhere, although they are filled with people.

Can I reserve a spot?:

Except for the seating area, you can view from wherever. Please abstain from causing any inconvenience, such as booking a site days in advance or placing duct tape on the road. Please follow proper manners and make this a joyful festival!

What if I want to watch from a viewing seat? ( These seats are different from those for the marine navigation and fireworks display.)

There are group viewing seats (for 10 or more people) and individual viewing seats (for 9 or less people).

The price for both group and individual viewing seats is 3,500 yen per person (tax included, pamphlet included).

Applications for group viewing seats will be accepted from early April, and individual viewing seats will go on sale from late June.

Where are the seats?:

The seats are set up on the sidewalk. There are two types of seats: pipe chair seats and pipe box seats.

Since the Nebuta Festival is an outdoor event, the seats are not covered. In case of rain, please prepare a raincoat. Please refrain from using umbrellas as they will obstruct the view of other customers.

Are there seats for the physically handicapped?:

They will provide wheelchair spaces and reserve a spot for you so that you can enter in your wheelchair. The price is discounted from the regular seating fee, and if you need a seat for your companion, you will be charged the regular seating fee.

>About viewing [Official]

Enjoy the Nebuta Festival while wearing “Haneto” costumes

Not only can you watch the spectacular festival, but you can also wear a “Haneto” and join in the fun!

How to participate in Haneto

1: Wearing a Haneto costume (formal attire)

2: Meet at the Haneto meeting point (Shinmachi Yanagimachi intersection, sea side)

3: Join the waiting Nebuta group and dance together.

*Please note that they may not be able to accept joins from mid-way through the route depending on how crowded the Haneto is.

*You can participate even if you are not a member of any group. It is voluntary participation, and there is no need to register in advance or check in on the day, so all you have to do is put on your Haneto and have fun!

How to buy or rent Haneto costumes

・Purchase: Approximately 10,000 yen for the whole set (Yukata, okoshi, sash, training, magic belt, waist strap, bell, pin, bean squeezer) The set is sold at department stores in Aomori City.

・Rental: Approximately 4,000 yen for the whole set (socks, sandals, and flower hats are charged separately)

Save money by booking in advance!

Please contact the store directly for details such as rental fees. Advance reservations are recommended. *Please note that there are some stores that only offer costume rentals and do not provide dressing services.

>How to buy or rent Haneto costumes [Official]

How to wear the “Haneto” costume



>Haneto costume “Let’s become a Haneto man

>Nebuta Festival [Official]

Summary

How was the “Nebuta matsuri”?

Every year, the “Nebuta matsuri” takes place between August 2nd and August 7th. On the last day, the large Nebuta floats, including the award-winning Nebuta floats, will parade through Aomori Port, with a spectacular finale of around 10,000 fireworks.

If you’re interested, there are many other recommended sightseeing destinations in Aomori, so rent a RV and explore them!

Long-term discounts are available for rentals lasting one week or longer!

>Long-term discounts are available for rentals

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