UPDATE: 2020 Winter festivals

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UPDATE: 2020 Winter festivals

Due to COVID-19, many winter festivals this year are canceled or will have restrictions to ensure the safety of visitors. We’ve compiled information about festivals and events in or near the Akita Shirakami area. Please check below!

Takaiwa Shrine Hadaka-Mairi

This year’s event has been canceled.

Ketsujori Sledding Tournament

This year’s event has been canceled.

Snowmobile in Mitane

This year’s event has been canceled.

Namahage Sedo Matsuri

One of Tohoku’s five representative winter festivals, see Akita’s infamous namahage up-close on the Oga Peninsula. These demon-like beings are a part of Akita’s traditional folklore. Although they’re primarily known for their distaste for laziness and misbehaving kids, locals consider the namahage to be deities that protect them from illness and disasters. This unforgettable festival combines entertainment with traditional shinto rituals.

Date: February 12~14, 2021
Time: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Shinzan Shrine
Event Link

※ To avoid overcrowding, this year’s festival will be restricted to 1,000 people per night and requires advanced registration. Please refer to the event link for details.

Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival

Another one of Tohoku’s five representative winter festivals (Michinoku Godai Snow Festivals), as the name suggests, the Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern festival’s primary attraction includes hundreds of snow lanterns that scatter the base of Hirosaki Castle that’s lit up at night.

Date: February 10~14, 2021
Time: 10th, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
11~13th, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
14th, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Hirosaki Castle
Event Link

Lake Towada Winter Story Festival

After visiting Lake Towada (the largest crater lake in Honshu), enjoy the magic of the Lake Towada Winter Story Festival. From sparkling winter illuminations and snowtubing, to igloo bars and food stalls there’s something for everyone!

Date: November 18, 2020~January 31, 2021
Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Towada Shrine
Admission: Advanced online tickets, 1,200 yen
At the door, 1,600 yen
※ Last ticket purchase is at 8:30 p.m. Children 12 and under are free.
Event Link