There are several festivals in Japan that are held in the mountains. They have different charm and power than the lively and gorgeous festival in the city. Among them, “Nachi no Ogi Matsuri Festival” is one of Japan’s three great fire festivals. The state that the men are holding the torches that the fire is burning is going through the stone steps before the famous waterfall “Nachi no Taki” is impressive.
This is a festival known as “Fire Festival of Nachi”, which was designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of the country in 2005. Following that designation, it was unified from “Fire Festival of Nachi” to “Nachi no Ogi Matsuri”.
This festival is that the god of waterfall enshrined in Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine goes home to Hiroujinja Shrine once a year. Twelve gods are transferred to Mikoshi, 12 meters high, representing the shape of the waterfall, and they will pass from Kumano Nachi Taisha to Taki Waterfall.
The climax of this festival is a sacred event of fire called “Fire Festival of Nachi”, which takes place on the approach of Nachi’s waterfall. This is a shinto rituals to clean the 12 mikoshi shrines with the fire of the great torch which weighs more than 50 kilograms. It is held every year on July 14th.
Those who want to see the most interesting climax should act earlier. This is a festival in the mountains as opposed to festivals throughout the city so the scaffolding is not just good places. It would be better to have easy walking shoes, easy-to-move clothes, and adjustable tops. Also, let’s take minimal baggage as well.
It is said that 10,000 people will visit “Nachi no Ogi Matsuri Festival”. On that day there are people who visit before dawn, it is a popular festival. It is good to act from early in the morning to avoid congestion.
The annual festival of the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine performed on July 13 or 14 every year. Although generally called “Nachi no Hi Matsurhi”, but it is formally called “Ogi Eshiki Reisai” (Fan ceremonies annual festival) or “Ogi Matsuri” (Fan Festival).
It was designated as the significant intangible folk cultural asset of the country as “Nachi no Ogi Matsuri” in 2015.
The flame of the large torch is heroic and dances boisterously in front of Nachi’s waterfall which is said the best in Japan, it is famous as “Nachi no Hi Matsurhi” attracting tourists. It is a shrine ritual which purifies a fan mikoshi with a large torch and welcoming God. There is togyo (a Shinto ritual where a portable shrine parades to pray for happiness of people lining the path of the parade) of a mikoshi and the state that a blazing large torch lets flame splash is heroic. The dengaku dance dedicated prior to the departure of the miniature shrine is one of the highlight.
The 12 gods of Kumano are moved to the 12 fan mikoshi of 6 meters high mimicking the figure of the waterfall, and welcoming with 12 large torches on the approach of a waterfall, and being purified with the flame is “Nachi no Hi Matsurhi”
The weight of the large torch used in this shinto rituals is approximately 50 kg.
“Yamato Mai Dance” is dedicated from 11:00 a.m. and “Nachi Dengaku Dance” designated as the significant intangible folk cultural asset of the country is dedicated Ffom 11:30 a.m in the precincts of Nachi Taisha Shrine.
The ignition to a large torch becoming climactic is carried out from 2:00 p.m.
“Nachi no Ogi Matsuri” is an act of God to return to a waterfall of Nachi, where originally Gods dedicated, to the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine were enshrined.
|Name:||Nachi no Ogi Matsuri|
|Address:||Nachisan 1 Higashimurogun Nachikatsuuracho, Wakayama 649-5301 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kisei-honsen Line “Kii Katsuura-eki Station” (30 minutes by bus)|
|Tel:||(+81) 735-55-0321 (Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine)|