The Hirosaki Neputa Festival is a traditional event held in Hirosaki, Aomori, japan. It is deeply connected to the Aomori Nebuta Festival and is one of the four largest festivals in Hirosaki. The festival is known for its amazing displays of light and sound, and it is usually held in early August.
One of the main highlights of the Hirosaki Neputa Festival is the lanterns that are meant to ward off sleep. These lanterns are beautifully decorated and illuminated, and they are believed to keep away sleep demons. The lanterns are paraded through the streets of Hirosaki, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for the spectators.
Another highlight of the festival is the performance on the giant taiko drums. The giant taiko drums are played during the festival, creating a powerful and rhythmic sound. The deep notes of the drums can be felt in one’s core, adding to the overall atmosphere of the event.
To get to the Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri, one can take a train or bus to Hirosaki Castle. The festival takes place in the streets around the castle, and there are three parade routes that can be accessed. One of the routes passes close to Hirosaki Station, while the other two can be reached by bus. Alternatively, one can also walk from either Hirosaki Station or Hirosaki Castle to any of the festival locations.
The Hirosaki Neputa Festival is often compared to the Aomori Nebuta Festival, which is known for its wild and frenetic energy. While the Aomori Nebuta Festival celebrates the preparation for battle, the Hirosaki Neputa Festival marks the victorious return of troops from combat. Despite their differences, the two festivals are actually two sides of the same coin, representing different aspects of Japanese culture and history.
One of the highlights of the Hirosaki Neputa Festival is the giant taiko drums that are played during the event. These drums are massive in size, with the largest one being 3.3 meters in diameter and weighing two tons. The other two drums are also impressive in size and are known as Tsugaru Go Joppari Odaiko and Dotten Daiko. The sound of these drums adds to the overall grandeur of the festival.
The festival also has a rich history and tradition. It is said to have originated from an event held by farmers in mid-summer. During this time, when farm work is at its peak, the farmers would get very little sleep. To drive away the invisible demon that made them drowsy, lanterns and lights were used during the event. The modern Neputa Matsuri may have inherited the use of lanterns from this old farming tradition, but now they are used to celebrate and showcase the vibrant culture of Hirosaki.
Attending the Hirosaki Neputa Festival is not only a chance to witness a spectacular event, but it is also an opportunity to immerse oneself in Japanese culture and tradition. The festival attracts both locals and tourists from all over the world, and it is a testament to the enduring appeal of traditional Japanese festivals.
In conclusion, the Hirosaki Neputa Festival is a grand celebration of victory and a warding off of sleep demons. With its stunning displays of light and sound, the festival is a feast for the senses. The giant taiko drums, lanterns, and parades create a vibrant and lively atmosphere that is truly unforgettable. The festival is deeply rooted in the culture and history of Hirosaki, and it is a testament to the resilience and spirit of the local community. Attending the Hirosaki Neputa Festival is a unique and enriching experience that should not be missed.
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