Aug 1
~
Aug 7

Hirosaki Neputa Festival

7:00pm

The Hirosaki Neputa Festival is a lower-key (but still spectacular) sibling of the much rowdier Nebuta Festival in Aomori City.

While the Aomori floats are a lot more free-form, Neputa floats in Hirosaki are mainly of a distinctive fan-like shape with scenes from kabuki plays on either side of the float.

To chants of Ya-ya-doh!, the floats are wheeled along Hirosaki’s Dotemachi main shopping street starting next to the castle moat and then heading to the south. The attendants and paraders dress in distinctive Neputa kimono with a colorful sash around their shoulders, pinned with small bells.

While there are reserved, seated areas along the route, there are plenty of free seating areas along the road – which are quickly grabbed by both locals and visitors. Some of the best vantage points are at intersections on the route where the floats briefly stop while young men spin the fan part of the float at high speed using ropes, sometimes flying into the air in the process.

As with all the Nebuta festivals, booking well in advance is recommended if you don’t want to miss out on accommodation.

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Osaka Castle Illuminage Illluminations
    Nov 27
    ~
    Mar 7 2021

    Osaka Castle Illuminage

    A paid-entry illumination event with a very Japanese theme, this is a great way to get festive in Osaka this winter. Taking their inspiration from the Taisho period, the show will take you back to the Japan of a century […]

    5:30pm – 9:30pm
    ¥1,500 (on the door)
  • Nov 20
    ~
    Mar 14 2021

    Sapporo White Illumination

    This winter light-up takes place at five different locations including Odori Park, Sapporo Eki-mae Dori and Minami 1-Jo Dori. All locations switch on the lights on November 22nd, but while Odori Park finishes on Christmas day, Sapporo Station continues until […]

    Free
  • Mar 12
    ~
    Mar 14

    Namahage Sedo Festival

    A festival in which locals dress up as demons and scare the bejesus out of young children. There are also bonfires, a dramatic explanation of the reason for the festival, taiko drumming and mochi hurling. While you’re in town, take […]

    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Free
  • Mar 13
    ~
    Mar 14

    Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival

    Due to COVID-19, the 2021 event has been scaled back significantly. Many of the more vigorous events will not take place. This fiery celebration takes place in mid-March each year in and around Himure Hachimangu Shrine in the city of […]

    Free