日本語
Tsugaru Hirosaki

Experience 'behind the scenes' of a festival! Neputa float dismantling experience…take a piece of Neputa home!

- Experience stripping the magnificent paintings from the huge "Neputa" floats!
- Take home part of the painting that you peeled off the Neputa.
- Carry-case included


Address At Machinaka-Joho-center (94-1, Dotemachi, Hirosaki, Aomori)


Number Of Participants Limited 1-10 persons / per day


Start Time 11:00-13:00


Run Term From Aug.07 2020 To Aug.07 2020


Story

* What is NEPUTA/NEBUTA?
Why not discover ‘behind the scenes’ of Aomori at an event only seen during the first week of August? Every year from August 1 to 7, the people of Aomori Prefecture focus everything on one event – the ‘Neputa’ (or Nebuta) festival! Those from Aomori City typically call it ‘Nebuta’ and those from Hirosaki call it ‘Neputa’. By the way, ‘Neputa’ is a convenient word that refers to both the majestic floats of the festival as well as the festival as a whole – it’s a little complicated, isn’t it?

* What is NEPUTA/NEBUTA?

* What is NEPUTA/NEBUTA?

* Features of the Hirosaki Neputa
There are two main types of floats, fan-shaped and figure-shaped. In Hirosaki City, the majority of floats are fan-shaped. On the front side of the big fan you will find a colorful painting of a brave warrior scene from "Sangokushi, Three Kingdoms" or "Suikoden, The Water Margin" folktales, while the other side is often drawn with a bewitching beauty. The contrast of the two scenes is one of the main attractions of Hirosaki Neputa. Another unique feature of the Hirosaki Neputa is the call of ‘Ya-ya-dou’ that is cried out by the participants as they pull the floats slowly along.

* Features of the Hirosaki Neputa

* Features of the Hirosaki Neputa

* Origin of the NEPUTA festival
There are various theories about the origin of "Neputa", but it was originally an event held by Aomori farmers. It is believed that the "Neputa" festival serves the function of resting the body and opening the mind after the hard farm labor of Spring, in preparation for the coming Autumn harvest.
It might be a foreign concept for many, but in countryside Japan it is said that lazy habits and drowsiness of summer are evils that would hinder the Autumn harvest. To keep them at bay, this event has been held during the Tanabata festival in rural areas since ancient times. In the local Tsugaru dialect, "I want to sleep" is pronounced "Nepute", but overtime this word changed to "Neputa", and became the name of the event itself. Unlike many other Japanese festivals, "Neputa" is not a festival or ritual associated with a shrine or temple, but an event occurring among the common people. Prayers for a bountiful harvest and protection from catastrophes and disease are entrusted to the Neputa instead of praying to God. This annual event is an important source of energy and encouragement for the people of Aomori.

* NEPUTA is the soul of the AOMORI people!
This event brings together the local people in their shared hope for a bountiful Autumn to overcome the long, cold winter. For the Aomori people, "Neputa" is not only their soul and spirit, but it is maybe even Aomori itself. Oh, it is also a unique characteristic of Neputa that visitors can join-in the action! Why not take this rare chance to discover ‘behind the scenes’of Aomori – something you usually wouldn’t even catch a glimpse of?


Timetable 11:00 Meet, walk (about 10 minutes) to the shed where the Neputa float is stored
11:30 Neputa dismantling experience
13:00 Tour ends
※You can take home the parts that you peel off the Neputa.


Outline * What’s Included
- Private English speaking guide
- Neputa dismantling experience
- Rental of tools for removing painting from Neputa
- Permission to take home part of Neputa picture
- Cylindrical carry-case for taking home picture

* Not included
- Transport
- any hotel accommodation
- rain gear
** Any additional meals and drinks
** Anything not included in the above 'included' list


Meeting place At Machinaka-Joho-center (94-1, Dotemachi, Hirosaki, Aomori)
* Please gather by 11:00


Cancellation Policy More than 30 days: Deposit
15 days - 29 days prior: 30%
6 - 14 days prior: 70%
No show – 5 days prior: 100%


Notice * Attire
- Casual clothes are preferred
- Avoid wearing sandals and high heels

* Neputa dismantling
- As this is an experience only available through the courtesy of local festival groups, please communicate and conduct yourself with consideration and gratitude.
- Please notify staff immediately if you are experiencing any trouble or feel unwell.
- You will use a knife to remove the pictures from the floats. Please take care so as not to be injured.
- Please carefully follow the instructions of the organization and staff

* Taking home Neputa picture
- The "brave warrior painting" on the front of the float and the "bewitching beauty" on the back cannot be taken home as they have already been designated for donation elsewhere.
- You can choose to take home part of the painting of the clouds and lotus flowers.
- You will be provided with a cylindrical drawing case to store your picture.

* In case of rain
The event will still be held in the event of rain, with participants wearing rain gear. No refund will be provided if you do not participate of your own will.

* If you are late
If you are late for the meeting time for unavoidable reasons, please call the emergency contact number (to be notified later.)

* If the minimum number of participants is not met the event will be cancelled.


The giant fan-shaped "Neputa" floats can reach close to 10m in height! It takes local festival organizations around a month to construct a "Neputa" float, which is then paraded around the streets of Hirosaki for seven days before being dismantled after the final day of the festival period. This experience program will allow you to join the ‘hagasu’ element of the dismantling, when the painted washi rice-paper that covers the floats is carefully cut and peeled off. Gradually peel away the pictures of brave warriors, the bewitching beauty and even decorative clouds and lotus flowers, part-by-part. What’s more! You can even take home the picture of clouds and lotus that you cut off the Neputa yourself. Keeping a part of a real Neputa float that was actually paraded in the festival for seven days will surely make for a lasting memory!

6,000 JPY per person (approx. $55)
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