Aomori's Nebuta Festival

Introduction to Aomori's Nebuta Festival

Every summer, the Aomori Nebuta Festival transforms the streets of Aomori city into a vivid tableau of colour, sound, and festivity. This grand celebration, held from the 2nd to the 7th of August, is one of the most iconic and eagerly anticipated events in Japan. The festival is famed for its massive, brilliantly illuminated floats that depict gods, warriors, and mythical figures from Japanese folklore.

The Nebuta Floats

Nebuta Float

At the heart of the festival are the Nebuta floats, colossal creations made of washi paper, bamboo, and wire, illuminated from within to cast a magical glow against the night sky. These floats are the result of months of meticulous craftsmanship, with artists and locals coming together to create scenes from Japanese mythology and history. The sight of these towering figures, some reaching up to 5 metres in height and 9 metres in width, parading through the city, is nothing short of spectacular.

The Haneto Dancers

Accompanying the floats are the Haneto dancers, the festival's lifeblood, who energise the parade with their spirited dancing and chanting. Dressed in vibrant costumes, anyone can become a Haneto dancer provided they don the traditional garb. This inclusivity invites thousands of participants each year to join in, lending the festival an atmosphere of unity and celebration that's infectious.

Experience the Festival

Visitors to the Nebuta Festival are encouraged to immerse themselves fully in the event. Beyond watching the magnificent parade, you have the opportunity to wear the Haneto costume and dance along with the locals. It's an experience that allows for a deeper connection with Japanese culture and the festival's communal spirit.

The Fireworks Display

The festival reaches its climax with a breathtaking fireworks display over Aomori Bay on the final night. The sky, alight with a spectrum of colours, provides a fitting end to the festival, leaving participants and spectators alike with lasting memories of one of Japan's most dynamic and captivating celebrations.


The Aomori Nebuta Festival is more than just a celebration; it's a vibrant expression of Japan's rich cultural heritage, bringing together history, art, and community in an explosion of light and sound. Whether participating as a Haneto dancer or marvelling at the parade from the sidelines, the festival provides an unforgettable experience.