Yoshida Fire Festival



Yoshida Fire Festival (Yoshida himatsuri, Yoshida chinkasai)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Early Autumn
***** Category: Observance


August 26 and 27
The highlight of Mt. Fuji's Tourist season. Together with the Naked Festival of Aichi and the Belt Festival of Shimada, Yoshida's Fire Festival is one of the "Three Most Unique Festivals of Japan."

Fire Extinguishing Festival (Chinkasai 鎮火際)
Yoshida no Himatsuri 吉田の火祭り

Fire Festival at the shrine Fuji Sengen in Yoshida Town
Fuji Sengen Jinja no Himatsuri 富士浅間神社の火祭り

Yoshida himatsuri 吉田火祭 (よしだひまつり)
Yoshida Sengen matsuri 吉田浅間祭(よしだせんげんまつり)

susuki matsuri 芒祭(すすきまつり)"pampas grass festival"
hibuse matsuri 火伏祭(ひぶせまつり) "fire prevention festival"


© Chris Roeske

"The Fire Festival" refers to the two days of activity that surround the ending of the Japanese Summer. The first day, August 26th, marks the end of Mt. Fuji's official climbing season. August 27th is the day of the "Susuki Festival", which uses the "susuki" grass to symbolize the beginning of autumn. Both of these days include activities at Fujiyoshida's main Shinto shrine, called "Fuji Sengen Jinja", located on highway 138 in Kamiyoshida.

Day One: Joyful Descent into the Inferno

The goddess, in her carriage, is carried into the streets, followed by an "omikoshi" made to look like an orange Mt. Fuji, and two "mini-mikoshi" being supported by children. This unlikely, semi-hazardous parade takes the goddess down Honcho-street, and ends at the Kamiyoshida Community Center. As the goddess travels, she looks out to see Honcho-street lined with people, food vendors, and dozens of 9 foot tall wooden structures that look like elongated ice-cream cones.

Once these and many smaller fires are lit, the sight of the flaming city will so impress the goddess that she will be satisfied to contain the eruption of Mt. Fuji for one more year. We hope. In the meantime, the revelers at the Fujiyoshida Fire Festival are free to eat squid on a stick, drink cold beer, and dance around in the smoke, sparks, and falling ash.

Day Two: The Goddess Returns Amidst the Rustle of Autumn Grass.

On August 27th, the city awakes to find that autumn has begun, and that the smoke-tinged air seems slightly cooler. Residents inspect their clothes for burn marks, remove shoes made of grass from tired feet, and turn their attention towards Fuji-san, which will be as dormant as ever. We hope. The goddess, however, wakes up in a new place, a concrete community center, and must be returned.

Read the full account HERE !


© PHOTO Yamanashi Prefecture Tourist Association

Look at a short video !

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Worldwide use

Things found on the way


fire festival -
an orange Fuji floats
through town

Gabi Greve, 1985

Related words

***** Fire Festivals (hi matsuri)


1 comment:

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Yamamiya 山宮 Mountain Shrine - Satomiya 里宮 Village Shrine