2012 Summer Festivals

Summers in the northern Japan are short, like in New England (such as in Vermont). Therefore, people are longing for summer and have spectacular summer festivals to celebrate it.

Nebuta Festival, Hirosaki

Nebuta (this describes Nebuta Festival in Aomori but it is almost identical to the one in Hirosaki) The following photos were taken at Hirosaki Nebuta Museum. The real festival will take place early August every year.

I was told that the front side of the lantern float usually depicts historical soldier figures from Japanese or Chinese stories.
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And, the back side of the lantern float usually depicts a female figure who looks a bit melancholic. This represents the end of summer that is coming to this northern place soon after the festival.
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The festival is known to be characterized by the procession of floats and unique festival tune (囃子) that features flutes and taikos. I came across a place where people were practicing the festival tune and took a short video. Hope it gives you a glimpse of the festival.

YOSAKOI SORAN FESTIVAL, Sapporo

While Nebuta Festival has several hundred year history, this YOSAKOI SORAN FESTIVAL was started back in 1992 by a group of students in a local university. It became a huge festival in the region. This year, 271 teams (approx 27000 active participants) participated and approx 2 million audiences were drawn to the festival. The festival lasted for 5 days and held in more than one location. Majority of participants were early twenties but some were well over sixties and some were from kinder-gardens. I also noticed some foreign students studying in local universities were participating the event.


As the seats to the main stage were not free and were all sold out, I took photos from the back side of the main stage.

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There were three teams from outside Japan. This one was from Siberia, Russia.
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I took a short video clip of the main stage (from the back). Hope you can grasp this unique summer event.

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