Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival | Hakuba to Nozawa |

Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival

1.5 Hours from Hakuba
Free Sake


During the annual festival, 42 and 25 year old men take on special roles as defenders of a massive wooden Shinto shrine which they personally built from local mountain timber. After the shrine is blessed by the local priests, the aforementioned men take defensive positions (the 42 year old men on the structure and the 25 year old men surrounding the base) and wait as torch wielding villagers emerge determined to burn the structure to the ground. The entire battles lasts up to 4 hours, and those in attendance are treated to sake compliments of the local village.

The Fire Festival is held annually on January 15th. 

Festival History

First started in 1863, the festival originally began as an invocation for a good harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year, but now has come to include a good ski season as well. The event has been designated one of the 3 Great Fire Festivals in Japan, and is an experience unlike anything you’ve likely seen before.


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