Toyama no Shimotsuki Matsuri 遠山の霜月祭 Nagano (Dec.)
Toyama no Shimotsuki Matsuri is held every December at nine shrines in Kamimura and Minami Shinano in Iida City. It is a yudate (boiling water) ritual. It is said to have originated in the time between the Heian and Kamakura periods. The seat of the deity is placed above the caldron, water is brought to the boil, and is offered to the deity. At the climax, people wearing masks of tengu and other mythical creatures, splash the water around with their bare hands. This purifying water drives away the evil of the year, and people receive a new spirit with which to welcome the new year. (It is a nationally designated intangible folk cultural property.)
Each shrine in the Kamimura and Minami Shinano districts, Iida City, Nagano
Approx. 60 - 70 min. from the Iida interchange on the Chuo Expressway (depending on the location of the shrine).