During summer break, I visited Aomori with some ALT friends, Mark and Angela, and Yuko Sensei, an English teacher in Kumaishi. Aomori is Yuko Sensei’s hometown, so we were treated with the utmost hospitality.
I was warned ahead of time that Aomori gets very hot, much hotter than Yakumo, but I was still surprised by the heat that I felt as we walked off the train. Suddenly, it was another climate. Mark and Angela’s hometown is about the same temperature as Aomori, so they felt very comfortable in Aomori’s climate.
Our first stop was The Nebuta Warasse. They had some Nebuta on display from previous years, and we could see the process of making Nebuta. I was amazed at how big Nebuta really are! They are huge.
Next, we visited the Nebuta houses. We had some Aomori-style ice cream to cool off while we looked at this year’s Nebuta.
We spent the afternoon at the Aomori Museum of Art. It’s an amazing art museum, and I loved the whole thing. I especially enjoyed looking at Yoshitomo Nara’s works, and I found Shiko Munakata’s works very inspiring.
Afterwards, we visited the Sannai-Maruyama site, where we learned about some Japanese history.
That night, we were treated to front-row seats to watch the Nebuta festival. I was again amazed at how big and beautiful the Nebuta are!
The next day, we visited the Towada Art Center. I had been looking forward to seeing Ron Mueck’s Standing Woman for a long time, though everything in and around the art museum was very interesting. I was surprised to see so many art pieces around outside the museum!
After visiting Towada Art Center, we hurried back to Aomori to put on yukatas and dance in the Nebuta festival. There was so much music and energy at the festival! I enjoyed handing out bells to the people who were watching.
The next morning, we went to go see the Inakadate-mura rice field art. It was very popular and crowded, and for good reason. It was a spectacular sight! We walked through the fields, which served to demonstrate how big the artwork is, and how difficult it must have been to make.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay in Aomori very much, and am very grateful that we had the chance to spend time with Yuko Sensei and her family.