Festivals of the Northern land -- where bells and drums invite us to the world of mystery with a quiet yet valiant rhythm.
Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival
(July 31 - August 4 every year)
The "largest float festival in Japan" that possesses a time-honored tradition of about 290 years, Sansha Taisai is designated as an important intangible folk cultural property by the national government. Twenty-seven gorgeous floats parade through the city of Hachinohe for five days from July 31 through August 4 every year. The festival started in 1721, when a portable shrine was transmigrated from Ogami Shrine to Chojasan Kokuzo Shrine (currently, Chojasan Shinra Shrine) to offer prayers for rich harvests and to show gratitude to the gods. At present, it is held as a festival of three shrines, including Shinmeigu Shrine, and along with the float parade, spectacles such as a parade of ancient portable shrines, tiger dances and sacred dances for Shinto deities entertain all in attendance.
Hachinohe Enburi Dance
(February 17 - 20 every year)
Enburi dance is a folk art representative of the Hachinohe area. It is designated as an important national intangible folk cultural property. The dance, offered to deities as a prayer for a rich harvest, is believed to boast an 800-year history. Dancers calld tayu dance by swinging gorgeous eboshi-hats in the shape of horse heads. Over 30 Enburi dancing teams perform traditional dances around around Hachinohe City for four days from February 17 through 20 every year. Between the dances by tayu, children perform celebratory dances such as enko-enko and ebisu-mai.
Kagami-style Japanese Polo Game
This traditional Japanese polo game that is held at Chojasan Shinra Shrine in the Middle Day (August 2) of the Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival was started in 1827 by Nanbu Nobumasa, the eighth load of the Hachinohe domain. The plol game is rarely played in contemporary Japan, except in Hachinohe, the Imperial Household Agency and Yamagata Prefecture.
Nango Summer Jazz Festival
One of the largest jazz festivals in the Tohoku region, held every July at the openair stage of the Cuckoos, Forest Echo Land. This lively festival features famous artists from Japan as well as from all over the world, and attracts a large number of jazz fans.