What to Expect
Aomori City is located on the northern tip of Honshu, the biggest island, and is a port city with a beautiful city skyline and a magnificent mountain range in the background. You first head for the Great Statue of Buddha, the tallest seated bronze statue of Buddha in Japan. Its characteristic is that the Buddha wears a crown on his head and makes a Zen meditation hand gesture. Then you head for the Sannai Maruyama archaeological site, where ancient people lived for about 1,500 years from 5,500 to 4,000 years ago. You can see their lives with things they actually made and used in several dwellings that were precisely reconstructed based on the scientific and archaeological data. On your way back, you will visit the Nebuta Museum. Nebuta are lantern floats, which march along the main street of downtown Aomori during the summer festival.
Brief Info about Nebuta
The floats are made of paper and wire with lots of light bulbs inside. Its origin is unknown as it has a long history. Some say it's about 300 years old, others say 500 years old. And there are several theories about its origin. The most influential one is that Nebuta was used in local communities in those days to get rid of sleepiness of the farmers while they were working during hot summer days.
Nebuta consists of such components as the drum, the bamboo flute and noisemakers as well as its big float with scary faces of warriors because Nebuta is thought to be used to scare enemies during the battle. People who dance to the music of Nebuta marching with the floats along the street downtown also play an important role for Nebuta. The Nebuta Festival is held from August 2 to 7 and attracts more than 3 million visitors from home and abroad.