Nozawa Fire Festival, Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri

Nozawa Fire Festival, Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri

The next Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival will be held on January 15th, 2014. It is held on the same date every year.

Looking for accommodation or hotels for the Nozawa Fire Festival? Click here!

Fire and snow always go well and the Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival, Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri (or 野沢温泉の道祖神祭り in Japanese), exemplifies this as one of the three great fire festivals in Japan. The old roads that run like rivers between mountain towns in Japan are dotted with gods. Known as dosojin, they are deities of roads and borders with their stone statues usually enshrined at village borders. Dosojin are good gods for the foreign traveller.


Dosoujin Matsuri in Nozawa OnsenIt takes roughly one hundred villagers to build the shrine for the Nozawa Fire Festival. The trees are cut down in October and brought down from the mountain and through the village on January 13th prior to being made into a huge wooden structure or shaden. After the shaden has been constructed, the priest from Kosuge shrine performs a ceremony endowing it with a dosojin. The highlight on January 15th is a “fire-setting battle” which ends up with the setting fire of the shaden with blazing torches by the offensive team and the offering of torches to the deity, making the festival truly spectacular and exciting. The entire festival is quite lengthy and can take up to four hours from the beginning to the end. Some observers gather just for the main attraction which is the battle between the guards and the torch bearing villagers. Add liberal servings of saké to all of the above and you’re sure to go home buzzing after seeing quite a spectacle – and maybe a bit scorched from the flames (don’t wear your new down jacket). The famous Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival is nationally designated as an important intangible folk cultural property. It originally began as an invocation for a good harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year, but has been expanded to include a good ski season as well. Taking place on January 15th every year, the festival is staged by men aged 42 and 25 (so-called “unlucky ages”) to celebrate the birth of a family’s first child, to dispel evil spirits and also to pray for happy marriage.

If you are coming to the Dosojin Matsuri book early! Accommodation for the Nozawa Fire Festival fills up fast.

Click here to see the location of the annual Nozawa Dosojin Fire Festival

See the official tourism video (in Japanese)

Also of interest - Dontoyaki Fire Festival in Myoko Kogen & Photo Gallery

Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival – Video 1

Self contained and ski accommodation in Hakuba, Japan

Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri – Video 2

See more Nozawa Onsen videos here

Tokyo - Great hotels at reasonable prices

Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival Gallery

Click on the thumbnail to see the larger picture

Nozawa Fire FestivalFire Festival in Nozawa OnsenNozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri
Men fighting at the Nozawa Onsen Fire FestivalChild at the fire festival in Nozawa Onsen, JapanFlames at the Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival

shinkansen-tour

Discount Shinkansen Tours: Great deals for visitors to Japan – up to 52% off!

Search for Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival Accommodation – get instant confirmation

Nozawa Onsen AccommbookerCheap Nozawa Hostel Accommodation for Nozawa Onsen Fire FestivalNozawa RyokanNozawa Onsen RyokanNozawa Onsen Ryokan