Kure Omikokusan (Burning Tree Festival)
The centerpiece of this ancient festival is the burning of a massive pine log in what has to counts as one of Japan’s most dramatic spectacles. A large pine log is brought to the centre of town, and wrapped in straw. The log is then set alight and picked up using bamboo sticks. The log is precariously balanced atop these poles and carried through the town. Meanwhile, large heavy drums are mounted on long poles. They are so heavy that teams of several men struggle to carry them. These drums are also carried through the streets, and when teams meet at town squares, rush at each other in an attempt to make the opposing team drop their instrument. Large quantities of sake are consumed throughout, making this festival raucous and highly competitive!
The date of the festival depends on ancient calendars, and thus varies every year. It is held in September or October each year.
From Kochi Station, take the JR line to Tosa Kure. Follow the crowds to the festival.