Sunday, August 7, 2011

Akita Kantou Festival 2011 ♥ 秋田竿燈まつり

This amazing guy took out and performed with not 1, not 2 but THREE umbrellas WHILE balancing a 50kg bamboo pole (oowaka)! The Akita Kantou Festival originated in the 18th century, and is now one of the biggest and most important summer festivals in the Tohoku region. Performers balances huge, heavy oowaka with lanterns with their foreheads, hands, shoulders or hips. These poles can weigh up to 50kg!!

Of course there are smaller versions (kowaka/youwaka, depending on age), for little kids to take part and try their hand at balancing. A lot of skill is required, and the performers really take pride in their abilities.

A bit dark, but focus your attention on the guy in the middle. Yes, he is balancing that whole big pole of lanterns on his FOREHEAD. Amazing isn't it! This was one of the bigger and heavier poles, so the performers must've been really seasoned!

Before the festival began~

Stalls selling food and drinks~

Pickled eggplants and cucumbers~



One of my most beloved foods

People queuing for food before the start of the performances.

Even little kids took part in the festival, it was really cute so see community spirit in them even at their tender ages!

Rows and rows of lanterns on a pole

Choco-banana (チョコバナナ), bananas coated with chocolate and sprinkles~

Little boys trying their hand


One of the bigger poles

This lad was pretty good!

Beautiful lanterns illuminating the streets~

A very beautiful and touching night indeed. Seeing the sense of teamwork and community spirit while watching the whole group working together to make a performance go well, supporting each other and ensuring each other's safety really makes you feel warm inside thinking about it^^

A second post with more information here~!


  1. Ohh chocolate and sprinkles coated bananas are delicious!! :3

  2. @Moa ♥
    T_T I didn't get to try them, but my friend said they're great!