Guide and information of Japan travel, with Aomori Nebuta, Akita Kanto, Sendai Tanabata Matsuri Festival in Tohoku.
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TOHOKU BIG 6 FESTIVAL (ROKKON-SAI)
Asakusa has Sanja Matsuri in May which is the most hottest festival in Japan. How about Tohoku (East-North region)? Days and months and years have passed from the March 11th 2011 (catastrophe of earthquake and tsunami), time could ease the pain, but still scars of disasters can be seen here and there in the northern-eastern-area, Tohoku region, especially in their hearts who lost their loved ones. Their spirits of livings and deaths (both good as yang and ying, maybe ying and yang) will be contributed to Tohoku prefecture's festivals this summer. Aomori has Nebuta (Neputa), Akita has Kantoh, Morioka (Iwate) has Sansa, Yamagata has Hanagasa, Sendai (Miyagi) has Tanabata, and Fukushima has Waraji to present. 6 prefectures (states) 6 festivals. Spirit is pronounced as Kon in Japanese language, Six as Roku. Together, it becomes Rokkon (sounds like Rock-On), the 6 spirits festivals. Not only their people in the 6 areas, but whole nation of Japan received hambly your international aids, donations, helps, supports, hearts and more. Arigatou gozaimasu. This summer festival is to thank all of you giving Japan warm thoughts.

Sendai, the capital of Tohoku, in 2011
Morioka in 2012
Fukushima in 2013
Yamagata in 2014
Akita in 2015
Aomori in 2016 (Shinkansen connects Hokkaido and Tokyo via Aomori)

Thank you so much once again! Summer should be this "hot" in Japan!
And hereunder has the information for every summer in Tohoku (in each 6 places)
Aomori Nebuta Festival
Aomori-ken has 2 famous festival, one is Nebuta in Aomori town, the other is Neputa in Hirosaki (samurai capital of Aomori). Both festivals of Aomori and Hirosaki feature a parade of huge lanterns in the shape of samurai warriors/hearts/spirits. The lanterns are made with wooden or bamboo frames and covered with bright color painted in traditional methods. Most of the Hariko is historically well-known general/bushi/knight or are characters from well-received Kabuki players. The illumination lights up the night and the air shakes with the energy from the music and shouts of the dancers called Haneto.
Akita Kantoh Festival
A kantoh is a bamboo pole eight to ten meters high with a number of cross poles attached which have 46 - 60 paper lanterns hanging from them, and is decorated at the very top with thin shreds of paper between wooden sticks. They act to drive away evil spirits through prayers offered to Shinto and Buddhist deities. Kantoh weight about 60 kg or even more are called o-waka, and smaller versions are called chu-waka, ko-waka and yo-waka. All these kanto are so-called in the shape of Akita cedar tree or of the full grown rice plants.
Morioka Sansa Odori Festival
This festival is listed in the Guiness Book of Records for the largest Taiko Drum Festival in the world. 50cm in diameter and weight of 6 - 7 kg is just a small mini one. Up tempo music and drum beat vibrate your soul and spirit for sure. You may encounter those attractive 10,000 taiko drummers and 30,000 dancers dressed on colorful Yukata on the main streets of Morioka. Dress yourself up in Kimono and enjoy the hot night!
Yamagata Hanagasa Festival
Flower-Hat is direct translation of Hana-Gasa. Groups of dancers in colorful costumes are holding the hat, 10,000 people are participating in the dance, the parade is led by wonderful decorated festival boats, audience also shouts "Yassho, Makasho" with joyful beat of drum, Hanagasa-daiko. Feel it?
Sendai Tanabata Festival
Tanabata is not only held in Sendai but all over Japan (Hiratsuka next to Kamakura is one of the biggest in Tokyo area). Among all, surely Sendai is the biggest and well received by nations. This is definitely one of the major events of summer in Japan. Tthe Sendai Tanabata Festival is symbolized by elaborate decorations attached to bamboo poles. More than 1000 streamers line up the arcade, shopping street which starts right in front of JR Sendai Station. Please do not window-shopping but do check-out the bamboo pole ornaments. After sunset, the "Hoshi No Koyoi Matsuri or Star Festival" holds live stage perfomances along with fabulous fireworks.
Fukushima Waraji Festival
The most catastrophe area by the nuclear power plants, Fukushima, has this Straw Sandal Festival. The giant shoes with 12 meters long and 3000kg weight will be carried around the town. How aggressive is depending on each group belongs to each street. Let's find who's the hottest. Shinobuyama once planned to taken away at the time of Shinkansen construction, but remained as nature with tunnel got through, remained Fukushima one of the hottest town in Tohoku region. 3000 dancers also follows with the traditional tune of folk song, Yoransho Koransho Mawaransho. Good at carring huge straw sandal? Why not participate in a race involving teams speed-shouldering 2.5m long Waraji over a 300m run.
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