Nachi Fire Festival (Nachi no Ogi Matsuri)
The sight of Shinto parishioners carrying large torches over stone steps captivates spectators
The famous, regularly held festival at Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine is known as either the Ogi Festival or the Nachi Fire Festival. From the distant past people have respected water as the origin of all things. As such, the Nachi waterfall was venerated as a god, and a shrine was built into the mountainside. The Nachi Fire Festival is a ritual recalling the transfer and enshrining of the deity. The sacred objects transferred in twelve fan-shaped portable shrines represent the gods of twelve Kumano locations, while the forms of the portable shrines represent the Hiro-jinja Shrine. On the day of the festival, Shinto followers clad in white and wearing headgear of a type once worn by the nobility bear large torches in procession. When the torchbearers encounter the portable shrines, they purify them with sparks from the torches, making for a spectacular ritual.
The Kumano Sanzan shrines: Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Kumano Hongu Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taisha are the three Kumano Sanzan shrines (with one temple, Mt. Nachi’s Seiganto-ji, also included). The Kumano Sanzan are linked by the Nakahechi trail of the Kumano Kodo (Kumano Sankei-michi).
- From Osaka: Take the Kuroshio Limited Express train on the JR Hanwa Line for Shirahama; Change trains at Shirahama Station to the Kisei Main Line (Kinokuni Line) for Shingu and get off at Kii-Katsuura Station; Takes approximately 3 hours 30 minutes
- 14 Jul 2022