Festivals

There are impressive festivals held through four seasons for travellers to appreciate the unique seasonal rituals. From fireworks to snow festivals to Hanagasa festival – travel back in time when you experience some of the most iconic festivals around Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Yamagata.

Feast your eyes and your social feed with dazzling paper lanterns, parade floats, fireworks, snow domes, and other rare celebrations you don’t want to miss.

The Nebuta Festival is held every year from 2 – 7 August in Aomori City and it is one of the three popular summer festivals in Tohoku. Huge light up nebutas (floats) made from bamboo frames and washi paper, are painted on with mythical creatures or famous characters from kabuki plays, and parade along the 3 kilometre route.

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The Tanabata festival, is one of the major summer festivals in Tohoku, and is held annually from 6 to 8 August. Thousands of colourful streamers and decorations line the city of Sendai, each handcrafted by students of local schools, folks of shops and community groups, using washi paper and bamboo.

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The Hanagasa Festival is a dance performance of more than 10,000 dancers following drums and beautifully decorated floats in their various groups while displaying hand-made hanagasa (flower hats) adorned with artificial safflowers. In the past, dancers are synchronized in their dance choreography.

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Kanto Festival

The Kanto Festival is a summer event held in Akita city and one of the three well-known festivals in Tohoku. This event showcased the display of the performers’ strength and technique in hoisting up and balancing bamboo poles fitted with lanterns to make it look like large bags of rice.

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The kamakura is an igloo-like structure hollowed out after packing snow. It is round, and generally about 3.5 metres across and 3 metres tall. During the festival period, more than 100 kamakuras adorn the town, along with countless miniature kamakuras.

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The Iwate Snow Festival is one of Tohoku’s prominent Snow Festivals. There are 6 different venues where visitors could check out. The snow festival is primarily held at Iwate Kogen Snow Park in February when the winter season is at its peak.

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Omagari Fireworks is one of the Tohoku region’s biggest fireworks festivals, where outstanding hanabi (fireworks) artists representing the best of Japanese fireworks compete for the coveted Prime Minister’s Prize.

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