Local lifestyle

How to spend summer nights in Aomori, Yoimiya (Festival Eve)青森の夏の夜の過ごし方 宵宮

By K.Yamauchi





Every summer, as summer approaches, Yoimiya is held in various parts of the prefecture.

Yoimiya is a festival that takes place on the eve of the Shinto festival, sometimes a few days ago.

The pronounce of Yoimiya (宵宮), it is called “夜宮, Yo-mi-ya” in Aomori. There is also a notation “よみやYomiya in Hiragana · ヨミヤYomiya in Katakana.”

In general, it is known as “宵宮, Yoimiya”, it seems there are very often being asked by people in other prefectures that what it is about.
宵宮 青森では夜宮 Yoimiya is called yomiya in Aomori






Yomiya is held from June to September. It could be said that it is held every day from June to August.

There are a large scale of Yomiyas where big shrines gather a large number of worshipers. On the other hand, there are also a small scale of Yomiyas where only the local people worship.

I went to the Yoimiya of Uramachi Shinmachi Shrine in Aomori City.

Before worshiping, cleanse the hands and mouth with a ladle installed at a water bowl in the shrine.

The way of worshiping is officially called “bow twice, clap twice, bow once,” and after bowing twice, clap in twice and one more bow in the end.

Wash hands, rinse mouth, purify the mind

Bow once, clap twice, pray once


In this “Uramachi Shrine”, since the Ryujin-sama (God of water) is enshrined, the local firefighting team (firefighting organization of non-permanent by citizen in the town) also visits and devoted by “Matoi “(flags were used as a sprinkler which was dipped in the water once then sprinkled over the fire) and “Hashigonori“(climbing ladders.)
Matoi “ Japanese traditional  old flag pole with straps.
Swinging sprinkler flags to convey the spirit of firefighters in the town

はしご乗り”Hashigonori“  Climbing ladder
Helpers support the poles at the bottom


There are vendors that sell masks, children who are excited in yo-yo fishing, it makes them feel happy or unhappy by whether what they get at game stalls.

A musk vender

ヨーヨー釣り ヨーヨー(水ヨーヨー)とは、ゴム袋に水を少し入れ,野球ボール大にふくらませて空気口をゴムでしばり,その一端を指にかけ,ヨーヨーのように手でついて遊ぶ玩具。

Yo-Yo Fishing ,Yo-Yo (Water Yo-Yo) ,is a toy that puts water in a rubber bag a little bit, inflates it to the size of a baseball ball and ties the air mouth with rubber, one end of which is hooked on one’s fingers, playing like a yo-yo toys

Shooting game
Aomori soul food, “Ginger Miso Oden (boiled veggies or fish paste with miso dip)” can be eaten at food carts as well as going home. Various delicious smells intersect.
Oden昔からの定番は、飴せんべい(水あめを津軽せんべいでサンドしたもの)。classic staple from the old days, candy cracker (sandwiched syrup with Tsugaru crackers).


Aomori people fidget against the fireworks of the “Yonomiya” announcement rising in the evening and finish early dinner with their families and go out. Memory of the long nights in summer will never forget even when becoming an adult.

Well tomorrow, which Yomiya shall we go!?

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