First post of Aomori here.

Continuing from Hakodate….

We left Hakodate and bound for Aomori again, because it was the first day of Nebuta Matsuri Festival!! More on that later. ^^

To board Junya’s favorite shinkanse, Hayabusa. <3

Hakodate to Aomori – 1 hour 1 minute. To Tokyo – 4 hours 2 minutes.

And then we spotted the most luxurious sightseeing train suite in Japan – Shiki Shima, bound from Tokyo to the Tohoku region. You have to put this in your bucket list… only if you are even lucky enough to win the periodical lottery to reserve a spot.

 

Shiki Shima

The entire train carries only a maximum of 34 passengers, so imagine the level of luxury you will be enjoying. Panoramic view from the lounge, Michelin standard menu, deluxe suite rooms that comes with wooden baths…

Can you imagine this to be inside a train?

Inside the train suite. Every single detail spells opulence. Branded amenities and high-end decors.

I have to be on this train before I die.

But before that… back to Aomori.

 

Nebuta Matsuri

Aomori is probably best known for its juicily sweet apples, and Nebuta Matsuri.

Deco at Shin Aomori Station.

The festival is held in August annually in Aomori city, and is one of the biggest matsuri events in Japan. We are really so incredibly lucky to arrive in Aomori just on time to join the first day of the celebration.

During the matsuri, numerous gigantic lantern floats shaped after famous historical and mythological Japanese characters will parade through the main streets in the city, completed with haneto dancers, and performers who play flutes and taiko drums. The best thing is, as long as you put on a Haneto costume (which could be rented), anyone is allowed to join the parade, regardless of age and origin!

We were there early, there are already officers and staff regulating traffic and putting down blue sheets.

The blue sheets are for spectators to sit on and enjoy the parade. And it was arranged for the public, how thoguhtful T__T. Many people brought along their foldable stools, street food, snacks and drinks waiting for the parade to begin. Everything was absolutely in order.

We got a good spot too!

Junya snacking

And Sakura was about to doze off haha.

Haneto dancers and their very elaborated costumes

Here comes the first float!!

The floats were amazingly lid up in vivid colors, complete with the catchy chant “rassera, rassera rasse rasse rassera…” I was utterly charmed. It was the first day of the event (2nd August), so the floats paraded are actually not the grandest of all. It is said that for the first two days of the festival, from August 2nd to 3rd, only the smaller nebuta, often pulled by children, are paraded throughout the city. But it was mesmerizing enough for all of us.

Junya recording a video.

You can spot the sponsor’s names on the floats.

Sometimes you also see branded floats like…

Japan airlines!

Calbee Jagariko haha.

Here’s a video you could watch to get a feel of what this festival is like!

I super recommend as it was the most mesmerizing matsuri I’ve ever seen so far!

Please watch how the floats are made, it is so unbelievable that such gigantic lanterns are all made by hand of thin wires, fragile washi papers and hand-painted!!! I just re-watched this and feel very touched haha.

Also, the chant will probably be stuck in your head for the next few days! XD.

 

Stay

Our ryokan for the day was located in Aomushi Onsen (浅虫温泉), the ryokan’s name was Nanbuya Kaisenkaku. 🙂

Spectacular sea view from the room <3

Outside the ryokan public onsen there are art pieces made of seashells painted by the local children. I really enjoyed looking at every single piece of them. Some are drawn by elementary school children and they are so creative!

 

Souvenirs

Souvenirs to bring back from Aomori – apple juice.

Nebutazuke, a pickle to go with your rice.

I also bought uni onigiri and made Ochazuke!

 

Morioka

That was the end of our trip and next we had to return to Tokyo via shinkansen. We alighted at Morioka (Iwate prefecture)  to have lunch. (You can read more about my trip to Iwate in 2016!)

Jaja-men is an Iwate specialty, one of the 3 Greatest Noodles, along with the other 2- Morioka Reimen and Wanko Soba.

It’s very affordable!

It’s a really simple dish – udon-like noodles served with grated ginger, diced cucumber, and a miso meat paste. You eat it by mixing it all together.

Child’s meal.

There’s a tip to eat the meal the local way!!!

Enjoy your meal and before you finish, reserve about 1-2 spoonful of noodle in the bowl, and crack a raw egg at the center.

Mix it well.

And then you can yell to the waitstaff, “Chii-Tantan Kudasai!!!”

The waitstaff will bring away your bowl and return it to you with hot soup added to your bowl.

Now you have egg soup!!

I kept wondering what Chii-Tantan means! It is obviously not Japanese, and since this dish probably has its roots from China, is Chii-Tantan… 鸡蛋汤??? It must be!!!!

 

Tokyo Station

And we were back to Tokyo Station.

This is my fav shinkansen scene. A kissing Hayabusa and Komachi.

Junya and his Hayabusa Tomica.

Tadaima Tokyo. ❤︎

 

Once I am done with my #47PrefectureMission, I think I might want to take on a matsuri mission – to witness all these beautiful traditional culture which could cease to exist in the future with my own eyes. It’s gonna be more location and time-specific. Who is joining?

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