Discover Hirosaki: Local Culture, Customs & Festivals

Discover Hirosaki: Local Culture, Customs & Festivals

Discover Hirosaki: Local Culture, Customs & Festivals

Welcome to Hirosaki, a charming city nestled in the Aomori Prefecture of Japan. With its rich history, unique customs, and vibrant festivals, Hirosaki offers an immersive cultural experience for travelers. Get ready to explore this enchanting destination as we guide you through the local culture, customs, and festivals of Hirosaki.

Local Culture

The culture of Hirosaki is deeply rooted in tradition and respect. As you wander through the city streets, you'll notice the influence of samurai heritage and the enduring spirit of the Hokkaido region. Locals take great pride in their craftsmanship, with traditional arts such as pottery, lacquerware, and woodworking thriving in the area.

Hirosaki's residents are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature. Don't be surprised if you're greeted with a friendly smile and a genuine interest in your well-being. It's common etiquette to reciprocate these gestures and show respect to the locals.


When visiting Hirosaki, it's important to be mindful of the local customs. Here are a few customs to keep in mind during your stay:

  1. Removing Shoes: In many homes, traditional inns (ryokans), and even some shops, it is customary to remove your shoes and wear slippers provided.
  2. Bowing: Bowing is a common form of greeting and showing respect in Japan. When meeting someone new or showing gratitude, a slight bow is always appreciated.
  3. Table Manners: When dining, it's customary to say "Itadakimasu" before you begin eating and "Gochisosama" after finishing your meal to express your appreciation.
  4. Public Etiquette: Hirosaki prides itself on its clean and orderly streets. It is important to dispose of trash properly and maintain a respectful demeanor in public spaces.


Hirosaki is famous for its vibrant festivals that celebrate the changing seasons and the city's cultural heritage. Here are two must-see festivals:

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

During late April to early May, Hirosaki Castle Park transforms into a breathtaking sea of pink as thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom. The Cherry Blossom Festival attracts locals and tourists alike, who gather to enjoy picnics under the blossoms, participate in traditional performances, and witness the stunning evening illuminations.

Neputa Festival

Held annually from August 1st to 7th, the Neputa Festival is a spectacular display of massive hand-painted floats featuring mythical warriors and historical figures. These impressive floats are paraded through the streets of Hirosaki, accompanied by energetic drumming and traditional music. The festival culminates in a mesmerizing fireworks display, lighting up the night sky.

Getting There

Hirosaki can be easily accessed by various modes of transportation:

  • By Air: The closest airport to Hirosaki is Aomori Airport, which has domestic flights from major cities in Japan. From the airport, you can take a train or bus to Hirosaki.
  • By Train: Hirosaki is connected to the JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line, making it accessible from Tokyo and other major cities. Once you arrive at Hirosaki Station, local buses or taxis can take you to your destination.
  • By Bus: Several long-distance bus services operate routes to and from Hirosaki, providing a convenient option for budget travelers. The bus terminal is located near Hirosaki Station.


Hirosaki offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler's needs:

  • Ryokans: Immerse yourself in Japanese tradition by staying at a traditional inn. Ryokans offer beautiful tatami rooms, tranquil gardens, and authentic Japanese cuisine.
  • Hotels: Hirosaki has several hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury accommodations. Enjoy modern amenities and comfortable rooms during your stay.
  • Guesthouses: For a more intimate experience, consider staying at a guesthouse. You'll have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and receive personalized recommendations from the friendly hosts.

Experience the Magic of Hirosaki

Plan your visit to Hirosaki and immerse yourself in the rich local culture, experience traditional customs, and be captivated by the vibrant festivals. Discover the beauty of Hirosaki all year round, from cherry blossoms in spring to colorful foliage in autumn. Come and explore the hidden gem of northern Japan!