A four-day festival that celebrates spring’s arrival with special folk dances, Hachinohe Enburi, takes place in Hachinohe, a city on the coast of Aomori Prefecture. This annual event, which is held from February 17 to 20, is a vibrant and lively celebration that draws visitors from near and far.
Hachinohe Enburi is known for its enburi dances, which are a National Important Intangible Folk Property of japan. These dances are performed by dancers wearing colorful costumes and the distinctive eboshi hats that are shaped like a horse’s neck. The enburi dances have a rich history that dates back to the Kamakura period, when some retainers of Mitsuyuki Nanbu, the founder of the Nanbu clan, started dancing with swords at a New Year’s drinking party. To calm the situation, a tactful farmer named Toukuro picked up his farming tools and began singing a rice-planting song, which eventually led to the creation of the enburi dances.
There are two types of enburi dances: Naga-enburi and Dosai-enburi. The Naga-enburi dances are slow and graceful, while the Dosai-enburi dances are lively and full of energy. Both types of dances are performed with precision and skill, showcasing the talent and dedication of the dancers. The costumes and dances are designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Property of Japan, highlighting their cultural significance.
One of the highlights of Hachinohe Enburi is the Kagaribi-enburi dances that take place at night by bonfires. These performances have a dreamlike quality and create a mesmerizing atmosphere. The festival closes each night with a bonfire held in the public square in front of Hachinohe City Office. This fiery celebration adds an extra touch of excitement and spectacle to the event.
To experience Hachinohe Enburi, visitors can easily reach the city center of Hachinohe, which is the second-largest city in Aomori Prefecture. The city can be accessed by train, with Hachinohe Station serving as the main transportation hub. From Tokyo, visitors can take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Hachinohe Station and then transfer to the Hachinohe Line. Hon-Hachinohe Station, the closest station to where the event is held, is just two stops away from Hachinohe Station. The central festival locations of Hachinohe Public Hall and the stage in front of the City Office are within walking distance from Hon-Hachinohe Station. Additionally, Chojasan Shinra-jinja, a shrine that is an integral part of the festival, is a 20-minute walk from Hon-Hachinohe Station.
During the festival, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Hachinohe Enburi by participating in various activities and trying traditional treats. Piping-hot amazake, a sweet, fermented rice drink, and Hachinohe senbei soup are popular choices that provide a taste of the region’s culinary delights. These traditional treats not only satisfy the taste buds but also transport visitors back in time, allowing them to imagine themselves as lords or ladies in ancient Japan.
In addition to the enburi dances, Hachinohe Enburi offers a range of other attractions and events that showcase the local culture and traditions. The festival is an opportunity to witness the craftsmanship of local artisans, as they display and sell their handmade products. Visitors can also enjoy live music performances, traditional games, and exhibitions that highlight the unique customs and practices of the region.
Hachinohe Enburi is a festival that truly captures the essence of spring’s arrival. It is a time of joy, celebration, and renewal, as the city comes alive with vibrant colors, lively dances, and the warm embrace of community. Whether you are a local resident or a visitor from afar, Hachinohe Enburi offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
Please note that the information provided is based on the latest available data and may be subject to change due to COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information, please check the official website of Hachinohe Enburi.
Address And Maps Location:
1-6-10 Choja, Hachinohe-shi, Aomori-ken