Burning torches in the summer at one of japan‘s most spectacular festivals
The Yoshida Fire Festival in Fujiyoshida, Japan, is a unique and mesmerizing event that takes place during the summer season. Held on August 26 and 27, this festival showcases the traditional culture and customs of Japan, while also providing a stunning visual spectacle for visitors.
The festival is centered around the lighting of huge three-meter-high torches made from pinewood. These torches are placed outside every home and storefront in Fujiyoshida, creating the illusion of a sea of fire flowing through the town. The sight is truly awe-inspiring and leaves a lasting impression on all who witness it.
One of the main highlights of the festival is the procession of portable shrines, known as mikoshi, throughout the town. These intricately decorated shrines are carried by a group of people and are believed to house the spirits of the deities. The mikoshi are paraded through different neighborhoods, each taking a separate route, before reaching their final destination at the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine.
As the mikoshi make their way through the town, crowds of onlookers follow along, cheering and enjoying the festive atmosphere. The procession is accompanied by traditional music and dance performances, adding to the vibrant and lively ambiance of the event.
The Yoshida Fire Festival also serves as a symbolic closing ceremony for the climbing season on Mount Fuji. The Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine, where the festival takes place, was historically the starting point for climbers attempting to conquer the sacred mountain. While most climbers now begin their ascent from the fifth station and bypass the shrine, the festival still holds great significance in marking the end of the climbing season.
The festival is deeply rooted in Japanese traditions and has remained largely unchanged for centuries. It offers a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage and provides an opportunity for visitors to experience ancient customs that have stood the test of time.
In addition to the torches and mikoshi procession, the Yoshida Fire Festival also features various other traditional activities and performances. Visitors can witness traditional Japanese dance performances, participate in tea ceremonies, and enjoy local delicacies at food stalls set up throughout the festival grounds.
The festival attracts both locals and tourists from around the world, who come to witness this extraordinary event and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere. It is a time of celebration and camaraderie, as people come together to honor the traditions of their ancestors and pay homage to the majestic Mount Fuji.
Fujiyoshida itself is a charming town located at the base of Mount Fuji, offering breathtaking views of the iconic volcano. Visitors can explore the town’s historic streets, visit the nearby Fujisan World Heritage Center, and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The Yoshida Fire Festival provides the perfect opportunity to experience the town’s rich cultural heritage while also marveling at the beauty of Mount Fuji.
To attend the festival, visitors can easily reach Fujiyoshida’s Fujisan Station by private train on the Fuji Kyuko Line from the JR-operated Otsuki Station. For those traveling by car, it is just a five-minute drive from the Chuo Expressway Lake Kawaguchi interchange.
In conclusion, the Yoshida Fire Festival in Fujiyoshida, Japan, is a truly remarkable event that showcases the beauty of Japanese traditions and customs. The sight of burning torches illuminating the town and the procession of mikoshi through the streets create a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience. It is a celebration of culture, history, and community, and a testament to the enduring spirit of the Japanese people. For anyone seeking an authentic and immersive cultural experience, the Yoshida Fire Festival is not to be missed.
Address And Maps Location:
5558 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi-ken