7 Japanese Fire Festivals to feel the heat of the flame!
There are a procession of warriors, a surprise festival that jumps into flames, and a romantic night view.

As in many cultures, the Japanese have believed that fire has sacred power. Various fire festivals are born seeking purification by fire, reinforcement of spiritual power by fire and so on. Its history is old and lasts more than 1000 years.
The characteristics of Japanese fire festivals are intensely dangerous, such as using huge torches, or using a large number of torches, jump on the fire or walk on the ashes. There is also a fantastic cultural festival where you can experience the beauty of fire.

"Fire Festival" is anything that the feels history, sacred things, dangerous things, beautiful things and so on.
Alone, with your friends, with family, with your partner, please try to experience various fire festivals and have a wonderful cultural exchange.

(C)Ishikawa Prefectural Tourism League

Wajima Grand Festivals

On the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, there is a large lantern called "Kiriko" that can be seen only in this region in Japan. Festivals using Kiriko are held at various locations in Noto. Also, this festival is known “Osuzumi Festivals”, because prayers want to send cool breeze to God.
Among them, the Wajima Grand Festival is a big event, and there are four nights of excitement. The contents are also very unique, such as the entering ritual of young men in female costume, carry mikoshi and enter the sea, kiriko sprinting on the bridge, and the portable shrines in the shape of sea bream or shrimp.
At the end ceremony, a big pillar torch in Wajima Port Marine Town is burning. The portable miniature shrine makes three turns around the burning torch, and people fight to get the gohei when the torch has fallen.
At Kiriko Museum, you can see kiriko from above, which can be the height of the fourth floor of the building at most. In addition, kiriko carrying experience is also possible. You can learn about the local culture and Kiriko while listening to the Ohayashi (Japanese traditional festival music). If you like fire festivals, want to see fantastic sights and want to experience the traditional culture of the region, this is a festival that you would like to visit.

Details

Name Wajima Grand Festivals
Web Sites https://www.hot-ishikawa.jp/kiriko/en/kiriko/wajimataisai.php
Location of the Event Wajima-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture
Access Approximately 30 minutes' taxi ride or rental car from Noto Satoyama Airport (From Haneda Airport to Noto Satoyama Airport: 1 hour)
Inquiries TEL: 0768-23-1146 (Wajima City Tourism Division)
Period of the Event August 22 to 25 (Same schedule every year)
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English No, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese No

©Aso City

Hifuri Shinji Festival

Hifuri Shinji is a Shinto ritual which held at Aso Shrine. That has a history of about 2,300 years. To celebrate God's marriage, people greet the marriage of God by waving a torch in front of the gate.
When the torch is lit and shaken, several rings of flames appear in front of Shrine and a fantastic sight spreads. There is special Hifuri for tourists which you can participate in.
This shrine is also known as a power spot for marriage because it worships God's couple.
Recommended for those who want to experience the Fire Festival in a sacred atmosphere, or for those who want to share a special experience with their loved ones.

Details

Name Hifuri Shinji Festival
Web Sites (In Japanese) http://asojinja.or.jp/events/tatsukuri/
Location of the Event Aso Shrine, Aso-shi, Kumamoto
Access Approximately 2 hours' bus ride or rental car from Kumamoto Airport (From Haneda Airport to Kumamoto Airport: 1 hour 50 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 0967-34-1600 (Aso City Tourism Association)
Period of the Event Middle of March
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English No, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English No, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese No

Kanoukaen Festival

Would you like to see a Samurai warrior processions, in fire festivals and even cherry blossoms?! Here is Kanoukaen in Unzen City, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Many believers were persecuted in Christian oppression during the Warring States, which was almost five hundred years ago. This festival is a reproduction of the history of a warlord who saved lives by helping people who suffered from oppression and suicide. 200 Samurai walk through the cherry blossom-filled Tachibana Park with a torch. It is as if seeing the illusion that the armor is clearly illuminated by the flame. You can feel the souls of the samurai scattered in their regret.
You can also participate in the samurai procession by pre-application. The samurai procession in the dark is also outstanding in the picture, you can take a picture that can only be taken here. If you like history and culture, you want to experience the world of samurai and battles, and of course, if you like photography, this festival is a must-see.

Details

Name Kanoukaen Festival
Web Sites http://kanoukaen.web.fc2.com/
Location of the Event Tachibana Shrine, Chijiwa Beach and Fukuishi Park, Chijiwa-cho, Unzen-shi, Nagasaki
Access Approximately 1 hour 40 minutes by bus and Shimabara Railway from Nagasaki Airport (From Haneda Airport to Nagasaki Airport: 2 hours)
Inquiries TEL: 090-1512-3956 (Kanoukaen Festival Committee)
Period of the Event Middle of March
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English No, Chinese No

Toba Fire Festival

There are many fire festivals in the world, but in Japan, there is a rather shocking festival of jumping into a burning fire. One of them is this Toba Fire Festival.
In the precincts of Toba Jinmeisha, a huge torch of five meters in height is installed, and a sacred tree called "Kamiki" and a rope supporting the sacred tree called "Twelve Ropes" are placed in it. The weather and the fertility of the year are occupied by the result of the competition, that men who have cleansed themselves jump into the burning torch, and take out the sacred tree and twelve ropes.
The highlight is the way the men jump into the flames and fight. It is said to be one of the most dangerous festivals in Japan because of the heat and intensity.
It is recommended for those who want to experience the excitement of the festival, and for those who want to touch the root meaning of the festival transmitted from ancient times. It will be an experience you will never forget.

Details

Name Toba Fire Festival
Web Sites http://nishiokanko.com/en/festivals#festivals4
Location of the Event Toba Shinmeisha Temple, Nishio-shi, Aichi
Access Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes by Meitetsu Express, Meitetsu Main Line, and Meitetsu Gamagori Line from Chubu International Airport Centrair (From Haneda Airport to Chubu International Airport Centrair: 1 hour)
Inquiries TEL: 0563-62-2852 (Toba Shinmeisha Temple)
Period of the Event Middle of February
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English No, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese No

©Hida City

Hida Furukawa Kitsune Fire Festival

In Japan, foxes have been regarded as sacred as having spiritual power. The Hida Furukawa Fox Fire Festival is a fantastic festival that expresses the mysterious procession of foxes.
The legend is that the son of the Fox God and the local beautiful daughter got married. People who have seen the marriage ceremony are said to receive wishes such as grain riches, family security, and prosperous business. It attracts many tourists.
The highlight is the wedding ceremony procession and wedding ceremony illuminated by the light of the torch. A traditional wedding ceremony can be seen, and the venue will be united with dances, drums and furumai-zake (sake which is offered by hosts when celebrating New Year's or a wedding).
On this day, both locals and tourists wear fox make-up on their faces. You can also experience dressing kimonos, and you feel like you've lost your way into the world of old stories.
If you are interested in traditional Japanese events, like magic and fairy tales, or if you like costumes, this festival is also a great place to enjoy the festival.

Details

Name Hida Furukawa Kitsune Fire Festival
Web Sites https://www.hida-kankou.jp/kanko/foreign/en/image-library/"
Location of the Event Hida-shi, Gifu
Access Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes by Meitetsu Airport Line and JR Takayama Main Line from Chubu International Airport Centrair (From Haneda Airport to Chubu International Airport Centrair: 1 hour)
Inquiries TEL: 0577-74-1192 (Hida City Tourism Association)
Period of the Event End of September
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese Yes
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese Yes
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese No

©NISEKO Mt. RESORT Grand HIRAFU

Torchlight Skiing

The Niseko ski resort is a very popular international snow resort representing Japan. The New Year countdown here is the "Torchlight Skiing".
In 1975, started with just a few volunteers. Today, winter sports lovers from around the world gather to celebrate the end of the year and the beginning of the new year.
One hundred and fifty skiers and snowboarders slide in the darkness with torches. The drawn fire character floats, and a fantastic world can be seen. When the fireworks illuminate the night sky, the white snow spreads colorful colors.
If you are skiing or snowboarding intermediate or higher, you can also take part in the torchlight skiing. If you like winter sports, this is a special event that you want to experience once.

Details

Name Torchlight Skiing
Web Sites http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/
Location of the Event Niseko Ski Resort, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
Access Approximately 4 hours from Shin-Chitose Airport by JR Chitose Line and shuttle bus (From Haneda Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport: 1 hour 30 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 0136-22-0109 (Niseko Grand Hirafu Torchlight Skiing Committee)
Period of the Event December 31 to January 1 (Same schedule every year)
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English No, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese No

©Nagaoka City

Koshi Fire Festival

The Koshi Fire Festival is a fire festival where you can enjoy the traditional "Sai-no-Kami" (the local Gods who protect the city), which prays for disease freeness and five-grain richness by assembling straw in a conical shape and burning them.
The straw over in a conical shape for burning in this festival is 25m high. When ignited, the height of the fire pillar is as high as 50m. A fire pole that soars in a pure white snowfield and fireworks in the snow that colors are dynamic things to enjoy here alone.
The first 50 people can launch a flying sky lantern. In the time to get dark, there will also be events such as Japanese drum performance, snow bullfighting tournaments.
From those who want to see a romantic scene, it is a fire festival that can be enjoyed with peace of mind that can be recommended to families.

Details

Name Koshi Fire Festival
Web Sites https://www.city.nagaoka.niigata.jp/kankou/event/kosihimaturi.html
Location of the Event Yamakoshi Tanesuhara, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata
Access Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes by shuttle bus and Joetsu Shinkansen from Niigata Airport
Inquiries TEL: 0258-59-2343 (Yamakoshi Branch Office, Industrial and Construction Division)
Period of the Event Early of March
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English No, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English No, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English No, Chinese No

FIND FLIGHTS