野沢温泉道祖神火祭り
Nozawa Fire Festival

Nozawa Onsen; Nagano, Japan  |  Winter 2018

I purposely stayed in Nozawa Onsen around this time because of this festival as apparently it's quite huge. Well, also photographing fire sounds fun right?

If you want to know more about what the festival is about and the history, read more at this gaijinpot article as they explain it a lot better and more detailed. In a nutshell, it's a festival where 25 and 42 year old men of the village where their job is protect the other villagers from rampaging. The 25 year old men stay and protect the base of the shrine by trying to put out the fire that are striked by the other villagers, while the 42 year old men stay on the top of the shrine and throw down more kindling and taunt the attackers below.

The event goes for 3 hours and despite the amount of rowdy and loud foreigners (LOTS of them!), it was pretty amazing.