Nyuto Tsurunoyu Onsen
Q: With so many festivals and shows around Japan to catch during different seasons, please share with us your picks of the top ones to explore.
Akita is home to numerous unique traditional festivals and cultural events throughout the year. You can’t say you have been to Akita Prefecture without experiencing the grotesque demon figures known as the Namahage. I was fortunate to stop by the Oga Village in Akita. The one event not to be missed is the Namahage Show, practiced during the New Year’s Eve. It is one of the Japanese cultures to toss out the old and bid farewell to the bad luck and make a promise to strive in attracting good will for the New Year.
I have to admit that I was pretty shocked because I was greeted by the frightening ogres of Namahage with smiles, giggles and feigned terror! However, we later got a hang of it as it is part of the ritual by chanting loudly and started to enjoy it. It was certainly a unique experience.
Every year, there will be groups of two to three wearing the hefty ogre masks and traditional straw capes, depicting expressions of evil and horror. Namahages are Gods of Akita where they are the myths and legends of the town. Namahages will enter the residences and shout warning messages to torment, lazy and misbehaving children. Do not be frightened as there will be wielding knives and buckets. Namahages will pray for good health and prosperity for the coming years
- Transportation facilities
4 Chome-13-1 Nakadōri, Akita-shi, Akita-ken 010-0001, Japan
While many know me as Bangsar Babe, I prefer to be called by my name – Sue Lynn. I’ve lived in Bangsar almost all my life, having moved into my family home since I was two. I founded and write one of the largest lifestyle blogs in Malaysia — www.bangsarbabe.com.