April Happenings

April Events – Courtesy of Jeff Howick!

It seems that spring is scheduled to arrive this month, because there are tons of cherry blossom festivals scheduled to begin at the end of April. Although it’s difficult to imagine everything will be blooming in just a few weeks, everyone assures me that it will happen. So say your goodbyes to giant piles of snow and let’s all collectively will some warmer weather to arrive. This month there are several ‘only once a year’ opportunities, so don’t forget to take advantage of the cool stuff happening in and around Aomori!

First Weekend
  • Yunoshima Dogtooth Violet ‘Festival’ (湯の島カタクリ祭り)
  • What: It’s not really a festival, but it IS the one time a year when you can ride a boat to Yunoshima, that beautiful island just off the coast of Asamushi, and explore.
  • Why: Ride a boat, hike a tiny mountain in the sea, and take some pictures of dogtooth violets and other flowers. There are also several nice onsens in Asamushi including a free public footbath and free egg-cooking bath (they are different baths).
  • When: April 7th thru April 22nd from 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Where: The docks in Asamushi Onsen
  • Cost: 1,000 yen for a round trip boat ride
  • Websites: Official (Japanese): http://www.asamushi.com/modules/event/index.php?content_id=23
  • Write-up from previous year: http://aomorimori.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/spring-comes-to-yunoshima/

Second Weekend

Kabushima Festival in Hachinohe (蕪嶋まつり)
  • What: Traditional Shinto Shrine Festival, I’m not sure what is being celebrated.  Spring I guess.
  • Why: This shrine is also a home and breeding ground to some 40,000 black tailed gulls.
  • When: April 15th from 10:00 to 3:00
  • Where: Kabushima Shrine in Hachinohe (031-0841 青森県八戸市大字鮫町字鮫)
  • Cost: Free

Websites: English write-up(sort of): http://www.visitjapan-tohoku.org.e.cr.hp.transer.com/zone/hachinohe/event/64/

Pictures of the shrine but not the festival:http://aomorimori.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/kabushima-the-island-of-seagulls-and-the-shrine-in-hachinohe-city/

 28th Annual Hirosaki Castle Miss Cherry Blossom Contest(28回弘前城ミス桜コンテスト)

Third Weekend

Mutsu Bay Shellfish Gathering(むつ市芦崎湾潮干狩り)

  • What: Clam digging on Mutsu Bay to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
  • Why: Visit the beach, celebrate spring, eat some shellfish and possibly catch some as well. Apparently, this is the one and only day each year people are allowed to visit this beach because it is part of a Japanese Self Defense Force base.
  • When: April 22nd from 7:00 A.M to 12:00 P.M.
  • Where: 青森県むつ市芦崎湾 海上自衛隊第25航空隊敷地内
  • Cost: 1,500 yen (1,300 yen if you register early)
  • Websites: Info(Japanese): http://www.shimokita-kanko.com/?p=4335

Fourth Weekend

The last weekend in April is a three day weekend and nearly all of Aomori’s cherry blossom festivals are scheduled to begin around this time and continue through the end of Golden Week. There are a LOT of cherry blossom festivals, so I’m just listing the basic details of the larger festivals in each region for now. But I’ll be sending a more detailed write-up of Aomori’s cherry blossom sites later in the month.

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival: April 23rd – May 5th

 -Things of note: Castle, boats in the moat, nighttime illumination

Tohoku City Cherry Blossom Festival: April 28th – May 6th

-Things of note: Lake, carp fishing tournament

Kanagi Cherry Blossom Festival: April 29th – May 6th

 -Things of note: Train, boats in the lake, nighttime illumination

Hachinohe Park Spring Festival: April 29th – May 6th

 -Things of note: Ferris wheel!
Mutsu City Cherry Blossom Festival: April 29th – May 6th
 -Things of note: Karaoke contest and Folk Dancing

Aomori City Cherry Blossom Festival: Late April to early May

 -Things of note: It’s in Aomori City

Well, that’s all I have for April.  If you know of any other fun events, let me know. I hope you all have a great spring!
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