You want to spend summer vacation in Japan but don’t know what to do. Tohoku, in northern Japan, is warmer and less humid than Tokyo and Kyoto, two of Japan’s top tourist attractions. This makes it ideal for hot months.
The Summer Months Specials
The months of summer are allocated for a broad range of festivals in the Tohoku area, as is the case in the rest of Japan. There are three major festivals held here every year, and each one has its own unique lineup of events and attractions.Together, the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, the Kanto Festival in Akita, and the Tanabata Festival in Sendai (in Miyagi) are known as the “Three Great Festivals of Tohoku,” and with some planning, you can experience all three in the span of a week. Following are some of the various tour options available during the tohoku festival tours.
Nebuta Festival in Aomori, Japan
In 1980, the government of Japan designated the Aomori Nebuta Festival—a nationwide celebration marked by parade floats and lanterns—as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. Every year from August 2nd to the 7th, nearly three million people from all around Japan and the rest of the world attend the event, making it the largest Nebuta festival in Japan. As floats, people in Aomori carry enormous lanterns called “nebuta” that each symbolise a different deity, mythical figure, or prominent person from Japanese history or culture. Every year in the dead of winter, this celebration rolls into town.
Do you want to participate in this exercise?
Tourists are invited to experience a true Nebuta Festival if they are able to make the required preparations. Locate the designated meeting areas, arrive at least ten minutes before the celebrations begin, and either purchase or reserve a costume (a list of shops offering costumes may be found here; reservations are highly recommended).
The Akita Kanto Festival is a Fine Event
The Akita Kanto Festival opens with a stunning display of energy and synchronicity. In a rite to fend off evil and honour the gods, over 300 exceedingly tall poles are hauled into the air and covered with gigantic hanging lanterns. The poles, or “kanto,” weigh precisely as much as their length, which might be 16 to 39 feet. A new person must balance each light pole and string on their hand, lower back, shoulder, or forehead. It’s hard to believe the gods of Japan aren’t aiding when you consider the talent and luck needed to balance a 12-meter pole with hundreds of lights in front of you.
Sendai celebrates Tanabata, a Japanese holiday. Tanabata is a culturally significant Japanese holiday. Maybe it originated with a Chinese folktale about star-crossed lovers who had to wait a year to be reunited in the sky in summer. Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, holds the annual Tanabata Festival. King Date Masamune of the 17th century started the ceremony. Date Masamune also inspired contemporary Sendai.
The last word Sendai observes Tanabata on August 6, 7, and 8, a full month after the rest of Japan. Most Tanabata celebrations take place on the seventh day of the seventh month, which also happens to be the seventh day of the seventh year. Approximately 2,000,000 people go out into the streets of the city each year to see the exhilarating parades and colourful streamers that adorn the streets and buildings in every direction.