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Fireworks exploding over a river.
Local Festivals
  1. Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo, Hokkaidō)
  2. Aomori Nebuta (Aomori City, Aomori)
  3. Sumida River Firework Festival (Tokyo)
  4. Takayama Festival (Takayama City, Gifu)
  5. Naked (Hadaka) Festival (Inazawa City, Aichi)
  6. Wakakusayama Mountain Burning (Nara City, Nara)
  7. Gion Festival (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
  8. Awa Dance Festival (Tokushima City, Tokushima)
  9. Yosakoi Festival (Kōchi City, Kōchi)
  10. Nagasaki Kunchi (Nagasaki City, Nagasaki)
  11. Eisā Festival (Okinawa City, Okinawa)
  12. Niihama Taiko Festival
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Dozens of people in matching white outfits carry colorful, illuminated floats at night
It takes many people to carry certain nebuta floats.
Photo Courtesy of Aomori City General Affairs Department.
Aomori Nebuta (Aomori City, Aomori)
Aomori Nebuta is a magnificent festival representative of the Tohoku district, the northeastern region of Japan’s main island, and takes place from the second to the seventh of August. As the name suggests, central to this festival are the nebuta, which are floats carrying wood-based, paper-covered lantern figures. Most Japanese festivals have some connection with a temple or shrine. However, Aomori Nebuta is an exception. During the festival, more than ten nebuta modeled after Kabuki actors, characters from legends, folklore, and such are paraded around the town. At night the lantern figures are illuminated and the magnificent facial features of the nebuta shine forth. On the final day of the festival, the nebuta are loaded onto ships and sailed around upon the water. The nebuta are escorted by dancers called haneto who wear multicolored costumes and dance to the sounds of flutes, drums, and chimes adding to the liveliness of the procession. New nebuta are created every year. The construction of a large nine-meter long, five-meter high nebuta is said to take approximately three months and costs roughly twenty million yen.
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