Japan Trip Day 11 - 2013-08-06

Today Kellian and I explored Aomori. It is a pretty manageable city, so we were able to get where we were going by walking, which was a nice change from Tokyo! We started out by going to A-Factory over by Aomori Station. It was a building that had a number of restaurants and a local produce market.

Next door, was Wa Rasse Nebuta Museum, a museum with information about the Nebuta festival we attended last night. It talked about the history of The Nebuta festival, which has been going on for quite a while (except for a period during World War 2). It also had some exhibits that showed how the floats were constructed, including a time lapse video of one being built. That was really neat to see! They are constructed from wire that is tied together and partly supported by wooden frames (that also hold the lights inside). Next, they are covered by a thick paper material, cutting each piece of paper to the correct size to fill a spot in the wire. Quite a process!

They had a great interactive exhibit where you could design your own Nebuta face! Not only could you see it on a computer screen, but it was also projected onto a big 3D Nebuta face live as you made changes. Here's Kellian with her face.

There was a very helpful woman working  there who spoke English, so we were able to ask her a few questions. One thing we were really curious about is what everybody was chanting while they danced! It was something like "Ra-sei-ra! Ra-sei-ra!" Evidently this translates to "Gimmie! Gimmie!" (though it is regional slang), and it dates back to when the floats were lit by candles and the kids had to go around asking for candles to light the floats.

After we finished at the museum, we headed over to AUGA, a shopping area that has a fish market in the basement. I was looking for some sushi, so I thought this would be a good place to go! We didn't end up finding any sushi of the type that you'd expect, but I did get some raw fish in a bowl with rice!

It had tuna, squid, scallops, and tamago (egg). I don't much care for raw squid, but the rest was quite good!

After lunch we planned to check out the Aomori Museum of Art, so we made our way to ASPAM (another shopping area), to pick up a local bus to the museum. We got a bit side-tracked at an arcade though, where we finally found a Taiko drum game that wasn't in use! Our friend Teddy told us we should give it a try, so we've been keeping our eyes out for it! It is kind of like Guitar Hero, except you're playing a drum. It was a lot of fun! We got to play along with the Legend of Zelda theme, which was pretty neat.

We made our way to ASPAM and wandered around there a bit: it turns out that behind this building is where they house all the floats! This was pretty cool to see up close where you could really appreciate the details.

We ended up running out of steam and deciding not to go to the museum after all (also, we couldn't find the bus), so we headed back to our hotel to rest for a bit before dinner. For dinner we found a place along the parade route that was pretty tasty.

By the time we were finished, the parade was in full swing so we hung out to watch it again! Here's a bunch of pictures of the floats. Aren't they amazing?

At this point we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow, we go to Sendai!


Janet Pletcher said...

The floats are amazing, so colorful and so many of them!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the floats are amazing. I am enjoying your blog. Keep on having fun! Love, Aunt R