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Cool Japan Guide / Summer Festival Map for the Eastern Japan Area (Vol 1)

Yatte-mare! The March of the Giant Neputa!
Goshogawara Tachi Neputa – Aomori Prefecture

The neputa of Goshogawara Tachi neputa are about the same as those in the Aomori or Hirosaki festival, but they are much taller. Called tachi neputa, these gigantic floats rise to some 22 meters high and can weigh up to 17 tons. As the parade winds through the streets of Goshogawara City, everyone cheers "Yatte-mare, yatte-mare!"
When power lines and utility poles were put up around Goshogawara Station, the tachi neputa would get caught every year, causing power outages, so the lines were buried underground.
Visit the Link: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/season/summer/index.html
Dates and timesSaturday, August 4 to Wednesday, August 8, 2012
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rassera! The haneto dancers weave around the nebuta!
Aomori Nebuta Festival – Aomori Prefecture

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is counted as one of the three great Tohoku festivals, and it attracts some three million people from around Japan and other nations each year. In 1980, the Aomori Nebuta Festival was designated by Japan as an important intangible folk culture asset. The nebuta is a magnificent float made by attaching Japanese washi paper to a wire frame. Dancers called haneto weave among the nebuta, dancing and yelling out their trademark "Rassera!" call in a loud voice. There are a number of shops where the proper attire for a haneto dancer can be obtained, so visitors can also dress up and take part in the dancing.
During the parade, a series of gigantic nebuta, some as large as 9 meters wide, 5 meters tall and 7 meters deep, pass through the town, one after the other. The internally illuminated nebuta seem to float in the air through the dark night like something from another world.
Visit the Link: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/season/summer/index.html
Dates and timesThursday, August 2 to Tuesday, August 7, 2012
August 2 to 6: 7:10 p.m. to 9 p.m.
August 7: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Yaa ya do! A stately procession of ogi and kumi neputa to the resonant sounds of the flutes and drums
Hirosaki Neputa Festival – Aomori Prefecture

The Hirosaki Neputa Festival is designated as an important intangible folk culture asset of Japan. In the festival, about 80 floats, featuring images of glorious heroes and warriors from works of classical Chinese literature like The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin, march through the streets of this castle town shouting "Yaa ya do!"
In January 1980, the festival was designated as an important intangible folk culture asset, and today, novel ideas are incorporated such as neputa for children and advance lanterns. The heroic themes of the kagamie, or framed pictures, at the front of the floats, contrast with the simple elegance of the ogi-neputa or fan-shaped back-facing theme and the traditional kumi-neputa with their magnificent three-dimensional constructions. As the floats are carried through the town, musicians provide a unique air to the festivities with their flute and drum accompaniment.
Visit the Link: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/season/summer/index.html
Dates and timesWednesday, August 1 to Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Wednesday, August 1 to Saturday, August 4: Dotemachi route, starting at 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 5 and Monday, August 6: Station route, starting at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, August 7: Dotemachi seventh day route, starting at 10 a.m.

By TS on Jul 7, 2012
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Author:T. SATOH