Skip to main content

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

26 hours later I finally arrived at Aomori Station by local line from Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama.  That's a little over 475 km.   I was spent and I had no energy left to do anything.  If you've got balls to ride local lines this far with luggage in tow then more power to you.  The Seishin 18 ticket makes it possible to travel on any local line in Japan unlimited five times.    Two  things that kept me motivated were the sweet girls I had met along the way, like when the girl across from me in daisy dukes was doing up her toe nails in candy apple red; she had spread her legs half eagle open wide across the empty seat.  We enjoyed nice conversations together and took pictures of each other.  The other thing was the beautiful view rural hamlets from the window.   It still blows my mind how a person can be born, live, and then die in the same town without seeing anywhere else their country.   You can see the tomb stones in the backyards of homes!  Most Japanese living this far up north were born at home and grew up and died in the same home.   At my friends house where I had stayed I was told that his great grandmother, grandmother, and  mother, including all of his siblings were born under the same roof.    Amazing how in the 21st Century how the continuity of tradition still lives on.  This is Japan.



The vibe this far up north is surreal.  There's just no comparison with Tokyo.   People in Tokyo have become too Euro-trashy and confused about what  " Japan" is, like just after Meiji period when people starting wearing Western-style dresses and trousers.     Aomori is where it all comes together in terms of everything:  Great sake; amazing looking women; awesome seafood; wonderful hot spring spas; pristine nature, and so much more.   I could say that about all of Tohoku, though.   Americans are wholly ignorant about Tohoku.   They think radiation radiation whenever they hear the word Tohoku,  like Fukushima Daichi is the capitol of Tohoku or something.    Tepco poisoned all of Tohoku!   You can believe that if you want.   There is no Chernobyl here in Japan, and never was.

I arrived at my hotel just after 5:30 when the sun was starting to set.    After I got to my room I washed my face and got changed for the evening and headed out with the 60D and a few cold beers in a plastic bag.



At the intersection I crossed over to a convenience store to grab a can of sake "joppari."

I spot the local scenery.   Everyone was adorned in traditional wear and were in a festive mood.
It's not my first time in Aomori.   I have been here several times in the past for great food and hot spas.  My purpose this time was to attend the most celebrated matsuri in Japan.  Coming here again just reaffirms my beliefs about what I claim about this prefecture.  The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri.

The three major festivals (matsuri) in this prefecture are Hirosaki, Aomori city, and Hachinohe.   They are all beautiful and they all have illuminated floats.  One float costs anywhere from 3 to 6 million yen depending on the sponsor.   That's about as much as a brand new car.   Below is Mount Fujii.


There was something for the whole family.   Summer festivals are a town event enjoyed by the entire community.   The more sinister looking floats are intentional and evoke a sense of power from way back when warring factions fought each other for dominance in the Mutsu Province.

On my 3rd beer and I was really starting to enjoy myself.   I was even starting to pick up on the groove of the marching music.   The name of the marching music and chant  is called "Rassera"or ラッセラー.  If you where stereo headphones you'll be able to hear it along with the accompanying drum sounds in the video below.

Just being here amidst all the noise and chatter was exhilarating.   I got to see 30 very large floats being paraded around town.   I have tons more pictures to post up, but probably won't.  Just know that you cannot miss this event next year.   You absolutely need to check it out.

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…