Way back in January, I went snowboarding with a lovely little crew. We took an over night bus from Tokyo to Nozawaonsen to enjoy three full days of snowboarding and skiing. I only had my camera for part of the trip, but I thought I'd throw up a couple pictures if you'd like to see.
The onsen town is beautiful and quaint, crawling with Tokyo-ites who want to get away for a weekend, as well as Kiwis and Aussies who have flown up for the fresh powder.
We happened to be there during Nozawaonsen's annual, extremely intense, Fire Festival.
Here is a basic description...
"One of Japan’s Top Three Fire Festivals, this intense event is held every year on January 15th. The 42 and 25 year old men of the village take on special roles. A massive tower is erected as a petition for the health and growth of first born sons. At night, villagers rush at the tower with torches. The 25 year olds fight them off at the base and the 42 year olds protect the top. The event climaxes in a massive bonfire as the tower succumbs to the flames. The festival’s power and energy have to be seen to be believed."
-from Go! Nagano
We watched as the 25 year olds chose their wood from the top of the mountain and ran with it (for hours) to the base of the mountain. The men rotated between helping carry the wood, and passing out sake to onlookers.
Fire and Ice,
Must Read: 20 Things That Ain't None of Your Business...Danoah.com.
Google Search: Pinterest.
Tune: Little Lion Man By Mumford & Sons.
Accomplishment: Lots of cooking yesterday.
Obsessions: Koala cookies.