The Yamadashi portion of the festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. As of March 2022, the Satobiki part of the festival, held May 3\u20135 at the upper shrine and May 14\u201316 at the lower shrine, is still slated to go ahead. Japan's most dangerous festival, the Onbashira Matsuri (also known as the "Log Riding Festival") is back and you definitely don't want to miss it -- especially since it takes place only once every six years. What happens at the Suwa Onbashira Festival? Held in the Lake Suwa area of Nagano, this festival is split into two parts: Yamadashi and Satobiki. The former takes place in April and features groups of young men risking their lives proving their bravery\u00a0by riding giant tree logs down a hill -- a ceremonial ritual called ki-otoshi or "tree falling." The logs, which are about 18m-long and can weigh up to 12 tons, are used to replace the main pillars at each corner of the main shrine buildings. The latter takes place in May and involves, again, a\u00a0group of men clinging to a log for dear life. But this time they hold on as the logs are raised with ropes into position, singing all the while. The festival has been happening in some form for about 1200 years. The origins have been lost to time though there are various hypotheses relating to the ritual rebuilding of shrines (like Ise-jingu Shrine) and also Chinese geomancy. The log riding aspect is only about 100 years old, and every year claims the lives of several participants and\/or spectators. Festival schedule for 2022 The Suwa Onbashira Festival takes place over four weekends at different parts of the shrine, which is divided into the Kamisha ("Upper Shrine") and the Shimosha ("Lower Shrine"). Festivities happen daily from dawn to dusk. Kamisha Yamadashi April 2\u20134 (canceled) Shimosha Yamadashi April 8\u201310 (canceled) Kamisha Satobiki May 3\u20135 Shimosha Satobiki May 14\u201316 The ki-otoshi can be seen from the second day of the Kamisha Yamadashi and everyday during the Shimosha Yamadashi. The tate-onbashira, the raising of the logs, takes place on the second and third day of the Kamisha Satobiki and everyday of the event during the Shimosha Satobiki. Tickets are normally required for the official viewing area for the ki-otoshi. Getting to the Suwa Onbashira Festival Suwa is just south of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture. The nearest train stations to the shrine are Kami-Suwa (for Kamisha) and Shimo-Suwa (for Shimosha) on the JR Ch\u016b\u014d Main Line. You can catch a Super Azusa limited express train from Shinjuku, which takes around 2.5 hours and costs . Regular express trains cost and can take 3.5\u20134 hours, requiring a transfer. Because of the crowds and road detours during the festival, driving is not recommended.