Nishio-City Toba Fire Festival
Date : 02/10/2019
Majestic column of fire, rising up against a winter night sky
A fire festival is held every year on the second Sunday in February at Toba Shinmei Shrine in Nishio City, and during the course of the festival a column of fire rises up against the clear, winter night sky. Two giant torches called "suzumi," each 5 meters tall and weighing 2 tons, are set up and lit within the grounds of the shrine, and men called "kami Otoko" (literally, "god men"), who have been divided into "East" and "West" teams, jump into the flames and compete to bring out sacred trees and twelve ropes that have been placed in the fires and offer them before the altar. The results of the competition are used to divine the year's weather and whether the harvest will be good or bad.