The Nebuta Festival is one of the Tohoku Sandai Matsuri, the three largest festivals in the Tohoku region. The floats are decorated with enormous papier-mâché figures and for a full week they march through the streets in Aomori Prefecture’s largest festival. The parade itself takes place in early August, but you can always come and experience the wonders of Nebuta at the Nebuta Museum WA RASSE! The amazing museum is just a hop and skip away from JR Aomori Station and is also right by the waterfront. It is exceedingly popular with tourists. The main attraction is the “Nebuta Hall,” a massive two-story space that has a permanent display of some of the largest floats that are used in the parade. Why not get up close and experience not only the floats’ enormous size but also the incredible intricacy of their design?
The museum has Nebuta Hayashi music with shamisen and Japanese flute playing in the background, creating a wonderful “festival” atmosphere so you can truly get the whole Nebuta experience here. The exhibits explain about the methods of building the floats, as well as the variety of different subjects that inspire their designs, and the short classes in taiko and dance will make you feel like you’re actually joining in the festival. If you get tired you can take a rest in the lobby overlooking the waterfront, or the restaurant serving dishes made with local ingredients. The gift shop sells Nebuta-themed souvenirs as well as a variety of other traditional Aomori goods, so you can get your souvenir-shopping for the folks back home done here as well.