Nebuta returns for train line’s anniversary

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A nebuta float is seen in a parade in Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture, on Sept. 25.

MUTSU, Aomori — The Ominato nebuta float brightened up Mutsu’s Ominato district in Aomori Prefecture for the first time in two years on Sept. 25. The parade took place around Ominato Station and was held in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the JR Ominato Line becoming fully operational.

The 4-meter high nebuta float was made by the local Ominato Shincho Neighborhood Association this summer. Families enjoyed taking photos of the illuminated nebuta float as it paraded through the streets of the town accompanied by exciting music from the nebuta hayashi bands.

The parade is supposed to be held annually in August with floats from several neighborhood associations, but the festival has been cancelled for the past two years because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Ominato Shincho Neighborhood Association held the parade to celebrate 100th anniversary of the railway.

“I felt that summer has finally come to Ominato,” said civil servant Masahiko Ishibashi, 31, who attended the nebuta parade with his daughter. “I hope the day when we can have the festival as it’s usually held will come soon.”