Togakushi Dondoyaki Fire Festival

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Once all the excitement of the new year wraps up, you might think it’s time for a festival break. However, in Nagano at least, there’s still some celebrating to do — at the Togakushi Dondoyaki.

What happens?

The Togakushi Dondoyaki Festival is part of Japan’s array of New Year’s events. The main focus of a dondoyaki festival is leaving the previous year’s fortune behind and ushering in good luck.

Traditionally, this involves burning old New Year’s decorations, charms, daruma dolls, and other trinkets on a large bonfire. However, the Togakushi Dondoyaki’s also includes a parade — which hundreds join carrying flaming torches.

There’s also a fireworks display that illuminates the winter snow. And if you get chilly, there will be free glasses of hot sake to keep you warm. Taste the red and white mochi for luck and welcome the new year one more time.


  • 19:30–20:00: Torchlight parade
  • 20:00–21:00: Fireworks display
  • 20:00–21:00: Sake and mochi distribution

How to get to Togakushi Dondoyaki

The event is held on the slope of the Togakushi Ski Resort. The parade will start at Doso Jinmae Chusha Ward and travel around 700 meters to the slope. You can join the procession at any point, but it will start moving at 7:30 p.m.

The easiest way to the event is by bus from Nagano train station, an hour and a half journey from Tokyo. The “Alpico Kotsu” bus will take you to Togakushi Chusha from outside the station, and the slope is a short walk away. The bus ride will take about an hour but may take longer in bad weather, so keep that in mind!

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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