Have you picked up a taste for traditional Japanese festivals and want one with a fiery flair? If so Mount Omuro Yamayaki is right up your alley.
What to expect
At the end of winter every year, people gather to see the dead grass on the slopes of Mount Omuro be burnt away. This controlled burn is a 700-year-old event that attracts thousands of visitors each year, and a special viewing area is set up.
If you want a close-up view, around 600 people will be allowed up the mountain into the crater — be warned that you’ll have to walk down. This crater will be the first part of the mountain to be set on fire. Get there early if you want to see it!
Around noon, the main slopes of the mountain will be burnt. The public can take part in this, with 70 torches being sold to attendees. They’re first come, first serve, and numbered tickets will be given out at the torii (red shrine gate) at the base of the mountain. Come back at 8 a.m. to buy your torches, and you’ll be allowed to help set fire to the slopes.
If the weather is particularly bad, the event may be canceled or rearranged. The decision will be made by 6:30 a.m. and announced on the Mount Omuro homepage.
- 7:00: Collect your numbered tickets for torches.
- 8:00: Torch sales begin.
- 8:30: Up to 600 people ride the lift to the crater.
- 9:15: The crater is set on fire.
- 12:00: The main mountain slopes are set on fire.
How to get to Mount Omuro Yamayaki
The festival is held at Mount Omuro in Shizuoka.
If you’re looking to take public transport, the Ueno-Tokyo Line/JR Tokaido Line from Tokyo Station connects to the Itō Line at Atami, taking you down to Itō. Alternatively, you can also cut down on that time by taking the Odoriko Limited Express, which is faster and includes reserved seating.
Get off at Itō Station and catch a bus (45 minutes) to the mountain. The trip will take you 3 hours and 30 minutes on the slow train and just under 3 hours on the Odoriko Limited Express.
Consider getting accommodation in Itō the night before the festival.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.