Six years of waiting——Shrine of Suwa,Onbashira Festival

There are many different festivals(祭り, matsuri) in Japan, most of which are held every year, while some have to wait for years to be seen.

The Onbashira Festival at Shrine of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture is a festival held only in the years of the Tiger and Monkey according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.

This year 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, and it is also the year in which this festival will be held again after a six-year hiatus.

Suwa Taisha (the Suwa Grand Shrine complex) is composed of four shrines located both north and south of Lake Suwa(Kamisha Honmiya, Kamisha Maemiya, Shimosha Harumiya, Shimosha Akimiya).

At the time of the festival, sixteen large fir trees become Onbashira, and they are towed back to town by hand and erected at the four corners of each of the shrines composing Suwa Taisha (the Grand Suwa Shrine complex).

The festival usually starts in early April and lasts until May, one of the most famous scenes is the "KIOTOSHI"(木落とし).

On that day, people ride on top of the trees and rushing down the steep slope of nearly 30 degrees at a very fast speed.

You will even need to purchase a ticket to see this thrilling spectacle in person.

Unfortunately, due to the New Crown epidemic, it has been announced that the trees will be transported by trucks instead of by hand at this year's Festival.

Ticket sales for watching "KIOTOSHI"(木落とし) have also been stopped.

To watch this spectacle, now we really need to wait another 6 years.