Tohoku is located in the northeastern part of Japan, where not only has a poetic beauty, a rich source of hot mineral springs, but also is rich in traditional culture, characterized by unique festivals. Among them are the Aizu Erousoku festivals in Fukushima Prefecture, Namahage Sedo in Akita Prefecture or Hachinohe Enburi in Aomori Prefecture.
Festival Aizu Erousoku
Aizu Erousoku, also known as candle lighting festival, is one of the traditional activities in the Aizu region. Held at Tsuruga White Crane Castle, there are over 10,000 candles lit around the castle.
Meticulously drawn and decorated candles illustrate Aizu’s traditional craftsmanship. In the space shimmering from thousands of candles around the castle, highlighting the 3D illumination of the castle covering the cold space of white snow creates a wonderful sight.
Period: February 7 ~ 8, 2020
Location: Tsuruga Castle, Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture
By train: From JR Aizuwakamatsu Station, take Akabee bus about 7 minutes and get off at Tsuruga Castle Entrance
Car: Banetsu Expressway 15 minutes from Aizuwakamatsu IC
Namahage Sendo Festival
The Namahage Sedo Festival is a winter festival that combines “Saitosai” and “Namahage” events.
Held on January 3 every year at the Shinzan Shrine in Kitaura, Oga City is a traditional event that began in 1964. After the “Yunomai” ritual – the sacred dance Haraikagura (area only area Oga) and “Chinkamasai” – a traditional Shinto religious ceremony that uses hot water for bleaching, under the Sedo fire of Shinzan Temple, the Sedo Festival begins. Young men wearing masks that are empowered by the Shinto priest and become Namahage. Then, they returned to the mountain and the “Namahage Nyukon” ceremony was held. “Namahage Nyukon” – spiritual dedication.
After descending the mountain, Namahage walked around the temple among many tourists and looked for children to make fun of. As you move through the crowd, a few straws on Namahage clothes can fall, if one picks up the straw it will be lucky for the whole year. At the end of the festival, a Shinto priest gives Goma-mochi (rice cakes) baked over Sedo fire as a gift to Namahage. After that, Namahage returned to the deep mountain where they appeared.
Time: February 7 – 9, 2020
Address: Shinzan Temple, Oga City, Akita Prefecture
Travel: 90 minutes by car from Akita Station or 110 minutes from Akita Airport
Hachinohe enburi festival
Recognized as an important national intangible folklore property, Hachinohe Enburi is a local dance performance that expresses prayers for a good harvest. The dance takes its name from a farm tool called enburi (also known as iburi / yusaburi “). horse head Enburi’s most unique feature are these hats and the way the dancers put them on and shake their heads in a wide arc. rice, including sowing and transplanting of rice.
Amid Tayu’s dance, the children’s lovely Shukufukumai performances were presented for the audience to enjoy.
Time: from February 17 to 20, 2020
Location: Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture (central shopping street area).