Toba no Himatsuri 鳥羽の火祭り Aichi (Feb.)
The Tobano Himatsuri is a fire ritual in which the fortune for the year's harvest is told. It is held at Toba Shinmeisha Shrine and has a history of around 1200 years. The locals chosen as "Shin-Otoko (holy men)" purify their bodies and minds before lighting two giant torches (suzumi) 5 meters in height and 2 tons in weight. A sacred tree and twelve ropes are buried in the suzumi. Servants (helpers) wearing costumes made out of old banners compete to remove the tree and the ropes. Whichever suzumi has its tree and ropes removed first is the one used to determine the fortune for the year.
Toba-Shinmeisha, Nishi-basama, Toba-cho, Nishio City, Aichi
Approx. 10 min. walk from Mikawa Toba station on the Meitetsu Nishio-Gamagori line
Exit Tomei Expressway at Otowa Gamagori interchange onto Mikawa-wan Orange Road, then National Route 23, then National Route 247 (approx. 40 min.)
Exit Tomei Expressway at Okazaki interchange onto Prefectural Route 26, then National Route 248, then National Route 247 (approx. 60 min.)