If you decide to go to one place in Aomori it should probably be Hirosaki. At the center of the Tsugaru plain in the shadow of Mount Iwaki (known as the Tsugaru Fuji) Hirosaki has twice the character of the much larger Aomori City and Hachinohe put together. As the capital of the Tsugaru Domain which covered much of modern day Aomori Prefecture, Hirosaki is blessed with Aomori’s only extant castle – Hirosaki Castle. The diminutive castle is a lot less impressive than those in places like Kumamoto or Osaka, but unlike those castles, it is 100% authentic.
This festival for which Aomori is most famous takes place in towns and cities across the Tsugaru Plain during the week of August 2nd to August 7th. The main procession of the festival consists of large internally lit floats depicting kabuki scenes that are wheeled around wildly from side to side. Members of the public are free to join in as long as they are wearing the required haneto costume.
Nebuta festivals in other towns in Aomori differ in terms of style. Called Neputa in Hirosaki, floats are more of a distinct fan-like shape while in Goshogawara they are much taller.
The Aomori Nebuta schedule sees parades on each evening for the first five days with a procession of floats happening during the day on the final day with a large fireworks festival in the evening.
To book a train or ferry online from Amori to Hakodate……but the link is in Japanese…
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