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Nachi Fan Festival
Nachi Fan Festival (Nachi no Ogi Matsuri) or Nachi Fire Festival is counted as one of the three major fire festivals in Japan. People parade waving huge torches that weigh over 50 kg through the streets. This is a festival that celebrates the return of Kumano Nachi Taisha (shrine) deities to the Nachi Falls where they were originally dwelling. People carry the torches and run up the shrine stairs to meet the fan-shaped divine vehicles. This is a very powerful and impressive scene. A dance called Nachi no Dengaku is performed before the fire festival. The dance is registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
- Nachisan, Katsuura, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama
- Contact No.
- 24-min ride on Kumano Kotsu Bus (Nachisan Line) from JR Kii-Katsuura Station to Nachi no Taki Mae. 3-min walk from the bus stop,
- Official Website
- Time Required
- Admission fee
- Every year 7/14
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Shinto Ritual Where Enormous Torches Are Waved
Twelve enormous torches are used in this festival that weigh over 50 kg each. When the torches are lit, they are carried in a line toward the stone stairs of the shrine. Then people go up and down the stairs waving the huge torches. The stairs are lit up by the torches' flames and sparks.
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage: Nachi no Dengaku
Before the fire festival, the traditional dance of Nachi no Dengaku is performed at Kumano Nachi Taisha. The dance is based on rice farming, and the choreography tells us the procedure of rice farming from rice planting to harvesting. The dance is registered as the nation's Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property and an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Large Fans Represent 12 Deities
The 12 Ogi Mikoshi (portable shrines decorated with fans) await the torches in front of the main hall of Kumano Nachi Taisha. This vermilion mikoshi measures one meter in width and six meters tall and is decorated with fans. They represent the deities of Nachi Falls. The 12 deities are transferred on this Ogi Mikoshi and carried to the falls.