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Onbashira Matsuri: An Exploration of the Thrilling Ceremony Involving the Transportation of Massive Tree Trunks in the Mountains of Nagano


The Onbashira Matsuri Festival

The Onbashira Matsuri festival is a traditional Japanese event that takes place every six years in the mountains of Nagano. This thrilling ceremony involves the transportation of massive tree trunks from the surrounding forests to the local shrines of the area. The Onbashira Matsuri dates back over 1200 years and is deeply rooted in the spiritual beliefs of the area. The festival is said to have originated from an ancient legend in which a deity descended from the mountains on a giant tree trunk.

The Transportation of the Onbashira

Before the festival begins, four large fir trees are selected from the surrounding forests to be used in the ceremony. These trunks can weigh up to 12 tons and are transported down from the mountains to the local shrines, a journey of approximately 10 kilometers. The transportation of the Onbashira is considered to be dangerous and thrilling. The tree trunks are pulled down the mountain by brave volunteers who risk their lives to ensure the safe arrival of the trunks to their destination. The journey takes four days, with stops along the way for various rituals and celebrations.

The Spiritual Significance of the Onbashira Matsuri

The Onbashira Matsuri festival is deeply rooted in the spiritual beliefs of the area. It is said to be a purification ceremony that renews the strength and vitality of the shrines in the surrounding communities. The festival is also a way for locals to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage and traditions. The Onbashira Matsuri festival is a breathtaking sight to behold. Whether you are interested in the cultural traditions of Japan or the thrill of watching daring volunteers transport massive tree trunks down a mountain, this festival is not to be missed. If you plan on attending the Onbashira Matsuri festival, make sure to plan ahead and arrive early as accommodations in the area fill up fast. This incredible event is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who experiences it.
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