JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.67


The Stately and Valiant Aomori Nebuta Festival
- A Summer Tradition of Tohoku -

Photo Credit : Aomori Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of Tohoku’s most well known events held every year at the beginning of August. Over the years, the festival has been carried on at some 40 communities in the prefecture, including Aomori City, Hirosaki City, Goshogawara City, Tsugaru City, and Mutsu City. Large, brightly decorated lantern floats up to 10-meters tall are paraded through the streets while each float is accompanied by dancers that dance wildly to the festival music while shouting out. The festival attracts crowds of up to 3 million people on busy days because it is known as a mid-summer festival intended to help people forget about the heat and humidity.

Although the origin of “Nebuta” is not entirely known, they generally say it comes from the lantern floats used during the Tanabata Festival, a purification ceremony.

Photo Credit : Aomori Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Camp Aomori of the GSDF, located in Aomori which is a 75-minute flight from Tokyo, is the GSDF’s northernmost base on the island of Honshu. The base is surrounded by a vibrant natural environment that includes nearby volcanoes including Mt. Hakkoda to the south and views of Mutsu Bay to the north. The Camp Aomori is home to the 9th Division Headquarters, 5th Infantry Regiment, known as the snow marching regiment of Mt. Hakkoda, 9th Signal Battalion, and the GSDF 9th Decontamination Unit. Close to the Camp are the Sannai-Maruyama site and the Aomori Museum of Art.

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