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
  • Nov 20
    ~
    Mar 14 2021

    Sapporo White Illumination

    This winter light-up takes place at five different locations including Odori Park, Sapporo Eki-mae Dori and Minami 1-Jo Dori. All locations switch on the lights on November 22nd, but while Odori Park finishes on Christmas day, Sapporo Station continues until […]

    Free
  • Mar 12
    ~
    Mar 14

    Namahage Sedo Festival

    A festival in which locals dress up as demons and scare the bejesus out of young children. There are also bonfires, a dramatic explanation of the reason for the festival, taiko drumming and mochi hurling. While you’re in town, take […]

    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Free
  • Mar 13
    ~
    Mar 14

    Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival

    Due to COVID-19, the 2021 event has been scaled back significantly. Many of the more vigorous events will not take place. This fiery celebration takes place in mid-March each year in and around Himure Hachimangu Shrine in the city of […]

    Free
  • Mar 1
    ~
    Mar 14

    Omizutori Fire Festival

    Omizutori is an event held every year between the 1st to the 14th of March or the second month of the lunar calendar and is a series of ceremonies of repentance at the Todaiji Temple. The 1,250-year-old tradition is known […]

    Free

Recommended hotels located nearby