Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival: A Spectacular Display of Sky-High Floats
The Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is a classic Japanese summer festival that takes place in August every year. This vibrant festival features a parade of sky-high floats known as neputa, which are a significant part of the region’s cultural heritage. Similar to the famous Aomori Nebuta Festival and Hirosaki Neputa Festival, the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival showcases the artistry and craftsmanship of these magnificent floats. However, what sets this festival apart is the towering height of the neputa, which stand at an impressive 23 meters (75 feet), resembling seven-story buildings.
A Parade of Colossal 23-Meter Floats:
The highlight of the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is undoubtedly the parade of colossal 23-meter floats. These towering structures are a sight to behold, with their vibrant colors, intricate designs, and larger-than-life characters. The floats depict various themes, including samurai, beasts, and mythical creatures, bringing Japanese folklore to life. The sheer size and grandeur of these floats make them a mesmerizing spectacle for both locals and tourists alike.
Tachineputa Hall: Building the Floats:
One unique aspect of the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is the opportunity for visitors to participate in building the floats at Tachineputa Hall. Located just a short walk from Goshogawara Station, Tachineputa Hall serves as the hub for float construction. Visitors can witness the intricate process of building these massive structures and even lend a helping hand. It is a truly immersive experience that allows visitors to appreciate the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into creating these works of art.
Outstanding Views from Tachineputa Hall:
Aside from the float-building activities, Tachineputa Hall also offers breathtaking views from its sixth-floor lounge. Visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of the surrounding area, including the majestic Mt. Iwaki and the scenic Hakkoda Mountains. On a clear day, the views from Tachineputa Hall are simply stunning and provide a unique perspective of the festival and its surroundings.
Getting to Goshogawara City:
Goshogawara City is best accessed by train or car from either Aomori City or Hirosaki City. Located in the northwestern side of Aomori Prefecture, Goshogawara is a relatively small city that is easily accessible from both Aomori and Hirosaki. From Aomori Station, visitors can take the JR Ou Line train to Kawabe Station and then transfer to the JR Gono Line, which will take them to Goshogawara Station. The journey takes approximately 75 minutes. From Hirosaki Station, visitors can also take the Ou Line train to Goshogawara Station via Kawabe, with a travel time of around 50 minutes. Alternatively, visitors can choose to drive to Goshogawara, with a roughly 50-minute journey from either Aomori or Hirosaki.
Three-Dimensional Monsters Looming Above:
The tachineputa of Goshogawara City’s festival are truly remarkable in their size and design. Standing at an impressive height of 23 meters, these giant neputa floats feature intricate, three-dimensional designs that portray various mythical creatures, samurai warriors, and beasts. The level of detail and artistry involved in creating these floats is awe-inspiring and showcases the rich cultural heritage of the region. Visitors will be captivated by the larger-than-life characters that seem to come alive as they tower above the parade.
Lively Music and Dancing:
One of the highlights of the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is the lively music and dancing that accompanies the parade. Despite being a smaller city compared to Aomori and Hirosaki, Goshogawara has a vibrant and energetic atmosphere during the festival. The music and taiko drums reverberate through the streets, creating an electrifying ambiance. The participants in the parade also add to the excitement with their calls of “yatte-mare, yatte-mare!” which roughly translates to “Go get ’em!” These calls originated from the time when the floats used to compete against each other, and fights would break out between the individuals pulling each float. It adds to the overall raucous and spirited atmosphere of the festival.
One of the advantages of the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is its relatively small scale compared to other major festivals in japan. While there are still large crowds, it is relatively easier to find a spot to enjoy the parade. Once the festivities begin at 7 p.m., people stand, dance, and join in on the revelry, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere. Visitors can fully immerse themselves in the festival without having to worry about jostling for a good view of the floats.
A Long and Colorful History:
The Goshogawara Neputa Festival has a rich history that dates back over a hundred years. During that time, wealthy landowners would compete to build the tallest neputa floats. However, in the 1920s, the installation of overhead power lines limited the height of the floats, and a series of fires destroyed the original float blueprints. The blueprints were thought to be lost forever until 1993 when one was found at the base of a neputa, leading to their revival in Goshogawara. In 1996, after nearly a century, the huge neputa floats were restored and renamed “Tachineputa.” In 1998, the city’s electric wires were buried underground, marking the revival of the festival as the “Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival.” This rich history adds depth and significance to the festival, making it an important cultural event in the region.
Things to Do Around the Festival:
While visiting the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival, there are several other attractions and activities to explore in the area. One recommended stop is the Tachineputa Hall, where visitors can witness the float-building process and enjoy the panoramic views from the sixth-floor lounge. Additionally, fans of the renowned writer Osamu Dazai can visit the Dazai Museum, located in the house where he was born. The museum offers insight into Dazai’s life and literary works, providing a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and literature. Visitors can also take a trip to Ashino Park, a beautiful park renowned for its cherry blossoms and picturesque landscapes. These additional attractions make the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival an ideal destination for those looking to explore the cultural and natural wonders of the region.
The Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is a must-visit event for anyone interested in experiencing the vibrant and diverse culture of Japan. The towering 23-meter floats, lively music, and energetic atmosphere create an unforgettable spectacle that will leave a lasting impression on visitors. The festival’s rich history, unique float-building activities, and the opportunity to explore other attractions in the area make it a well-rounded and immersive experience. Whether you are a fan of Japanese folklore, traditional arts and crafts, or simply love witnessing the grandeur of cultural festivals, the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival is sure to captivate and delight.
Address And Maps Location:
506-10 omachi, Goshogawara-shi, Aomori-ken