Suwa’s Onbashira / 式年造営御柱大祭.

Tips for your trips. Tourist information. Official websites.

Onbashira Festival (御柱祭, Onbashira-sai, map) functions as a symbolic renewal of the shrine’s buildings. The Mihashira or Onbashira  are four wooden posts or pillars that stand on the four corners of local shrines in the Lake Suwa area of Nagano Prefecture. The largest and most famous set of onbashira are those that stand on the four shrines that make up the Suwa Grand Shrine complex.

The Upper Shrine’s (本宮 honmiya, wiki, map), located in the northern foothills of Mount Moriya – currently often identified as the Upper Shrine’s go-shintai – boasts the largest number of historical buildings and structures of the four shrines, a number of which have been designated as Important Cultural Properties.

Also сheck оut мore info: The Onbashira Festival (go-nagano.net)

In addition to these four main shrines, some sixty other auxiliary shrines scattered throughout the Lake Suwa area (ranging from miniature stone structures to medium to large sized edifices and compounds) are also part of the shrine complex.

During the festival, sixteen specially-chosen fir trees are felled and then transported down a mountain, where they are then erected at the four corners of each shrine. Festival participants ride the onbashira as they are slid down the mountain, dragged to the shrine, and raised, and the festival has the reputation of being the most dangerous in Japan due to the number of people regularly injured or killed while riding the logs.

This festival, which lasts several months, consists of two main segments, Yamadashi and Satobiki. Yamadashi traditionally takes place in April, and Satobiki takes place in May.

 

Public transport.

Information about all types of public transport.

Transit Planner | Route Map – Japan Transit Planner.

For sorting through transport schedules and fares, HyperDia is an invaluable companion; it computes to-the-minute directions including connecting trains, as well as buses and planes.

Also сheck оut мore info: Transportation in Japan (japan.travel) • Transportation (japan-guide.com)

BUS: The cheapest way to get here from Tokyo or Kyoto is by bus. Japan Bus Online is a comprehensive website that allows you to search for and book bus tickets across Japan. Willer Express is a major bus company in Japan that offers long-distance bus services. + Highway Bus / JR Bus / kate.co.jp.

TRAIN: Japan Railways (JR): The official website of Japan Railways provides information about train routes, schedules, fares, and services offered by JR. + Central JRWest JREast JR

AIRPORT: Most international flights arrive at either Narita Airport near Tokyo or Kansai Airport near Osaka; a smaller number use Chubu International Airport near Nagoya.

WATERWAYS: Direct Ferries • Ferry Sunflower • Willer Ferry

Complete chaos! The Onbashira Festival!

Taking you to the wildest festival in Japan with a history of over 1200 years! The Onbashira Festival storms through Nagano every 6 years and wow, is it crazy!!

video source: Japanagos (ジャパナゴス) /youtube.com/

Useful websites.

Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.

VISAS & IMMIGRATION.

Foreign Residents Support Center (FRESC) MOFA Visa Information. + JAPAN eVISA – for online visa application to visit Japan.

HyperDia.Com

HyperDia is a service which offers the route of the railway and the aviation within Japan. Rental car and hotels etc around the station.

Tokyo Cheapo.

A website focused on budget travel in Tokyo, providing tips on affordable accommodation, dining, transportation, and free/cheap activities.

HyperDia – A website for checking train schedules, routes, and fares in Japan. It’s particularly helpful for planning your train travel.

Japan Rail Pass – If you plan to explore Japan using the Japan Rail Pass, their official website provides information on pass types, eligibility, prices, and how to purchase.

Tokyo Cheapo – A website focused on budget travel in Tokyo, providing tips on affordable accommodation, dining, transportation, and free/cheap activities.

Explore Accessible Japan

Food

Just One Cookbook – A popular website featuring authentic Japanese recipes, including traditional dishes, street food, and regional specialties.

Savor Japan – An online guide to Japanese food and dining, featuring information on traditional cuisine, sushi, sake, local specialties, and more. It includes restaurant listings and articles.