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Seasonal and Recurring events in Fujiyoshida
Yoshida Fire Festival (Yoshida no Himatsuri) August 26th, every year
The Fire Festival is one of Fujiyoshida's most treasured events. It has been held every year for over 400 years, and has garnered the title of "one of Japan's three most unique festivals." If you want to see a true expression of the local community, please don't miss this the Fire Festival!
The fire festival happens on August 26th every year and marks the end of the official climbing season for Mt. Fuji.
The original purpose of the festival was to pray to the gods to keep the city safe from volcanic eruption and fire.
There's no specific timetable for the festival, but it starts in the afternoon of the 26th at Kita Fuji Hongu Sengen Jinja (shrine). There are no tickets, so it's free to the public.
Two portable shrines are carried from the main shrine through the streets of Fujiyoshida by groups of 20 or 30 men. They're very heavy. The procession to "Otabi-sho" (the portable shrine resting place) takes several hours, maybe about 4pm - 7pm. You can watch this procession as you would a parade. After the portable shrines reach the resting place, the "taimatsu" torches -- usually about 80, two meter tall torches which are lined up on the main street of Fujiyoshida (upper Honcho-dori) are lit.
Walking on the street while the torches are lit is very hot! There are many people and food vendors out on the streets. There are usually some performances like Taiko Drums, dancing, and music at meeting places along the main street.
The conclusion of the Fire Festival, called "Susuki Matsuri" is held the next day on the 27th. It is less of a well known event, but nonetheless important to the local community. In the afternoon to evening the portable shrines are taken back up to the main shrine and raced around the inner grounds before being returned. It's a very energetic and raucous event, and a perfect end to the Fire Festival and official climbing season.
For those travelling by car, please be aware that there are large-scale traffic closures during these two days. Route 138, which connects Kawaguchiko, Fujiyoshida, and Yamanakako is closed from the Sengen Jinja East traffic light to Kamijuku West. Upper Honcho Street, where the torches are lit, is closed from Nakasone 7-11 to Kamijuku. There are temporary parking areas at Yoshida Elementary School, Yoshida-Nishi elementary school, and Fujiyoshida City Hall, as well as the usual parking at Fujiyoshida Michi-no-eki.
For those traveling by train or bus, Fujisan-Eki (station) is an excellent destination, as it is close to the center of the festival activities, but please be aware that trains and buses will be crowded.
Yabusame Matsuri, September 18 and 19 every year.
The annual Yabusame Festival held at Omuro Sengen Shrine is a venerable Shinto ritual that has continued for over 800 years. The sight of archers on fast-footed horses shooting at targets one after another is a sight to behold. Unlike most Yabusame, at this annual festival, horseshoe fortune-telling is performed by looking at the marks on the hooves of the horses after the horses have run. Also, missed arrows are dropped on the way, and you can get them as lucky charms. Since yabusame is performed on the road in front of the shrine, one of the unique attractions is that you can see it from a close distance.
10:00～・・・City parade with dedicated horses
From 14:00 to 21:00, various events at Komuro Sengen Shrine
10:00～・・・・ Komuro Sengen Shrine Annual Festival
13:00～・・・Horseback archery and horseshoe fortune-telling
Location: Omuro Sengen Shrine, 4minutes walk from Shimoyoshida Station on the Fujikyu Line
Inquiries about contents
Fujiyoshida Office of International Affairs
Address：6-1-1 Shimoyoshida Fujiyoshida-shi Ymanashi