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Thursday, September 01, 2011

The 48th Noboribetsu Hell Festival

Noboribetsu is one of the most popular hot spring sites in Japan, and 11different kinds of hot springs are enjoyed here! That's why we call this resort "a department store of hot springs".

One of the famous attractions in the town is "Hell Valley" created with the volcanic eruption around 10,000 years ago↓

The whole of the hot spring area is designed like an enjoyable hell and some demon statues are displayed on the street like this↓

On the 27th to 28th of August, the Noboribetsu Hell Festival, the biggest event in this town, was held.

An old legend says that once every year, the lid to the Hell Valley's cauldron opens, and the Demon King name Enma, followed by a huge crowd of red demons and blue demons, appears in the hot spring town.

Look at the demon mikoshi (portable shrine) or floats! Amazing, aren't they!!!

 Well, well, well, it was getting dark!

The festival was about to start soon! The Gokuraku Street, the main street in the hot spring area, became free of vehicles.

There are a lot of souvenir shops around here. For example, look at this shop! You can buy Ainu crafts here!
(*Ainu are indigenous people in Hokkaido and have unique culture, practice & their own language)

If you like ice cream and honey, I recommend this shop↓
(Want more information about this shop? Please refer to my previous post→click!) 

Some demons were walking on the street and we were so excited!!

First, the demons opened the lid to the Hell Valley's cauldron. The festival began!

We believe that this red demon is strongest demon in the hell. The local citizens were carrying the beautiful floats!!!

Look at the man on the demon mikoshi! Cool!!!

About 100 young men and women joined this mikoshi parade!

You can enjoy the Taiko Drumming, too!

The sound of the drum reminds Japanese people of the summer time!

One of the main events in the festival is the demon dance↓

The local citizens wore a demon mask, and danced to the tune of the festival music! As they really enjoyed dancing and looked fun, I joined them!!!

Some of them wore unique costumes like this↓

You want to meet the King of the Hell? This is Enma↓ ("Nice to meet you!!")
You can meet him on the Gokuraku Street any time. Hahaha!!!

Last but not least, we enjoyed more than 1,000 fireworks in the Hell Valley.

We really enjoyed the local festival♪♪
"Hell Festival" is held every summer!!

■Where is Noboribetsu hot spring area?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!


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