Aomori's Nebuta festival begins
The Nebuta festival, one of Japan's most famous summer events, opened in the northern city of Aomori on Monday.
Illuminated paper floats, representing legendary heroes and ancient samurai warriors, paraded through the city's main streets.
The procession of about 30 floats started shortly after 7 PM. This year, they were covered with clear plastic sheets to protect them from the rain.
Spectators cheered when large floats measuring 5 meters high and 9 meters wide were spun in front of them.
The floats were accompanied by dancers, jumping and shouting to the sound of bamboo flutes and drums.
A female Chinese tourist said she was impressed by the dynamic dances.
The annual festival runs through Saturday and is expected to draw around 3 million visitors.