Nebuta Matsuribabibubebo | 31 07 2007
Nebuta Matsuri, in Aomori Prefecture, is considered to be one of Tohoku’s best festivals. Apparently a lot of people think so because last year an estimated 3.7 million people came to see it! Nebuta takes place from August 2nd to the 7th every year and after living in Japan for a few years I will finally have the chance to go this year in 2007. There are actually 3 festivals in Aomori at about the same time and all of them are similar, but slightly different. The three are:
One thing you need to know about Nebuta is that it is REALLY crowded. If you are just a spectactor it might not matter as much, but if you are a photographer, you should do one of the following things to be able to get an unobstructed view:
- Arrive early, as in at least a couple of hours early and try to find some unclaimed space.
- Most likely you will need to speak Japanese but you could contact the Aomori Tourist Center and find out about reserving seats (should be done at months in advance as reserved front row seats sell out early).
- Really the best advice I can give you is to bring a small ladder. About one hour to 45 minutes before, the police will block off the sides of the intersections where the parade will turn and people rush, push, pull, muscle and squeeze to fill these premium spaces. If you bring a step ladder (or find something to stand on) you can get a strait on view of the festival and have nobody get in your way.
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Photography Travel Tip 01: Taking Photos in Crowded Areas