2017年05月31日

'Aomori Nebuta', being crowded with more than two million visitors, is a summer festival held in Aomori City every August.

IMG_1069.JPG

As shown in the picture, Aomori Nebuta festival featuring powerful and colorful floats is widely known throughout Japan. There are many theories about the origin of this festival though, it seems to be a derivative of 'Tanabata' star festival found everywhere in Japan. However the design of the floats and the musical accompaniment of this festival are very different from other summer festivals. Thus, it can't be denied that Aomori Nebuta has something to do with the repeated fierce battles in the 9th century, between the Imperial Court in Kyoto and the 'Ainu' native Japanese who used to live in this district. The floats had gradually become bigger with more decorative design as there was no size limitation, but now the size of them are restricted to under 9 meters long, 5
meters high and 7 meters wide. There are three types of Nebuta floats, sponsored by big companies, big organizations and the neighborhoods. 15 nebuta artists, who are called 'nebutashi', make their unique nebuta floats every year to entertain the sightseers.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 10:08 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年05月22日

'Seikan Renrakusen' meaning the railway ferry operating on the Tsugaru Strait between Aomori City and Hakodate City discontinued its navigation in 1988.

IMG_1052.JPG

hkkouda.jpg

Seikan Renrakusen connecting Honshu main island and Hokkaido island went into service in 1908. It reached the golden age in 1972 making 30 round-trips a day though, the number of passengers and the quantity of freight gradually decreased thereafter due to the development of air transportation as well as the long distance ferry from Tokyo direct to Hokkaido. The completion of the 'Seikan Tunnel' running between the two islands terminated 80 year old Seikan Renrakusen in 1988. Two ferryboats are preserved for display purpose in Aomori Port and Hakodate Port respectively. The two pictures show the maneuvering room and freight room for railway vehicles of 'Hakkoda-Maru' ferryboat open to the public in Aomori Port.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 10:38 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年05月18日

'Namahage' means a traditional event which is found in 'Oga' region in Akita Prefecture.

namahage.jpg

On December 31st every year, the young men over the 'Oga Peninsla' in Akita Prefecture, wearing a monster mask and straw clothes, visit the local families to exorcise an evil spirit. Being regarded as a messengers, they enter the houses of the villagers with a big fake knife or hatchet in their hand. The locals dress up to meet them to apologize for their family members' wrongdoings of the year. The young men with the mask are well treated even with 'Sake' rice wine. This unique annual event is also regarded as an educational method for little children of disobedience, as this event is a very fearful experience for them. Namahage is widely known all over Japan as a leading event in Akita Prefecture. The picture shows the example of various kinds of the masks and straw clothes, which are on display at ' Namahage Museum' in Oga Peninsula. The masks are slightly different from village to village.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 09:09 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする