Japan Images: Hirosaki Lantern Festival, Aomori Prefecture
The Hirosaki Lantern Festival is held from early February to around Valentine's Day in the grounds of Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan. Various Japanese style lanterns are made and often decorated with Neputa Festival style designs. Some of the lanterns are large ice versions of Japanese stone lanterns found in gardens and temples, others are much smaller like the ones pictured, which have designs drawn by local school children. Snow sculptures and ice slides are also part of the festival which is popular with families with young children and dating couples.