The goldfish extravaganza in Aomori

18 Aug 2017 in Have Fun

Head to Aomori to celebrate all things goldfish-related! At the Shigakko Goldfish Festival, you can even adopt your own fish during your stay!


During the Shigakko Goldfish Festival, the goldfish takes centre stage! Head to Aomori in the north of Honshu this summer to experience multiple activities around the goldfish – including traditional paper lanterns, snacks served in goldfish bowls and a chance to rent your own goldfish!

Held on the premises of Hoshino Resort Aomoriya, the festival runs until the end of August, and has its origins in the local tradition of making “goldfish neputa”, paper lanterns shaped like goldfish.

Back in the Edo Period, the Tsugaru-nishiki goldfish was a highly-prized domestic pet, but only Tsugaru feudal warriors were allowed to keep them.

Fish rental hotel

Deprived of the real thing, locals took to making goldfish neputa lanterns instead.

As part of the festival, over 100 brightly-coloured goldfish neputa have been hung in a hallway at Hoshino Resort Aomoriya, their illuminated bodies complete with dangling tails and fins.

Festival in Aomori

And if you’re more impressed by size, head to Jawamegu Hiroba (plaza) on the resort’s first floor – where two giant goldfish neputa hang side-by-side, each spanning 3 metres in length!

Feeling hungry? Stop by the resort’s bar, the Yottemare Sakaba, to cool down with a shaved ice dessert served in a goldfish bowl!

kakigori in Japan

Or treat yourself to a dessert created especially for the festival, the goldfish neputa ice – a mix of refreshing cassis sherbet, apple and candy sculpted in the shape of a goldfish neputa!

And to complete your stay, why not rent a goldfish for your room?

Goldfish in Japan

During the festival, a goldfish rental cart will be roaming the resort’s corridors. Take your pick from a wealth of coloured goldfish in bowls – and adopt your own goldfish for your stay!

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