Sat, Apr
02

Suwa Onbashira Festival

Free

Japan’s (and possibly the world’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 places only once every six years. Held in the Lake Suwa area of Nagano, this festival is split up in two parts: Yamadashi and Satobiki. The former traditionally takes place in April and features groups of young men risking their lives proving their bravery by riding giant tree logs down a hill—a ceremonial ritual called kyotoshi or “tree falling”.

onbashira festival
Photo by shibainu used under CC

The latter takes place in May and involves, again, a group of men who ride the log as it is raised and they sing from the top of the log to announce the successful raising. For a taste of what to expect, check out the video below: The festival started 1200 years ago, and every year claims the lives of several participants and spectators. Precise dates for 2022 have yet to be announced.

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Sep 18
    ~
    Sep 19

    Supersonic Osaka 2021

    Cancelled

    Summer Sonic took a break in 2020 for the Olympics (which obviously didn’t happen) and was replaced by the Supersonic event (which was canceled). With the rescheduling of the Olympics to 2021, Supersonic is around for at least one more […]

    11:00am
  • Sep 18
    ~
    Sep 20

    Nagasaki Kyoryuchi Festival

    Online

    Kyoryuchi is the shortened name for the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement in Oura – an area that dates from the late 1850s, when “treaty settlements” near a number of port cities in Japan were opened to foreign traders, missionaries and scholars. […]

    Free
  • Daikaku-ji, Osawa-no-ike (Pond) -1 (November 2013)
    Sep 19
    ~
    Sep 21

    Kangetsu no Yube: Full Moon Viewing

    Cancelled

    Continuing a tradition that has taken place at Osawa Pond next to Daikakuji since the Heian era, this event gives you the chance to float on a boat in the pond under a clear autumn moon. If the moon is […]

    5:30pm – 9:00pm
    ¥500 (on the door)

Recommended hotels located nearby