Loud Roars and a Shower of Sparks! The 2018 Tejikara Fire Festival in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture

Gifu City: Home to a 1300-Year-Old Tradition of Cormorant Fishing

direct-controlled territory of the shogunate during the Edo period. It then became the center of commerce and industry as the castle town of the Kanō Domain.

In Gifu City, you can find historic attractions like Gifu Castle (Inabayama Castle), known for being an impregnable fortress, and the beautiful old streets of Kawaramachi. One of the highly recommended experiences is the traditional cormorant fishing on the Nagara River.

Cormorant fishing, which uses cormorants to catch ayu fish, has been a summer tradition in Gifu for over 1300 years, conducted nightly from May 11 to October 15, except during the full moon and high water periods. The fishing method, passed down for centuries, showcases masterful control of cormorants by fishermen dressed in traditional attire.

When you visit Gifu City, be sure to witness this unique cultural tradition.

Quoted from asoview!

Let’s Go to the Tejikara Fire Festival!

Location: April – Tejikarao Shrine, 4 Nakatejikara-machi, Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture August – Nagara River Park (riverbank), Nagara Fukumitsu, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture

Dates: Every year on the second Saturday of April (main festival) Every year on the second Sunday of August


Tejikarao Shrine: 5-minute walk from Tejikara Station on the Kakamigahara Line

Nagara River Park: 15 minutes by Gifu Bus towards Nagara Bridge from JR Gifu Station, get off at “Ukaiya” stop, immediate access

Tejikara Fire Festival (Spring): Gifu City Official Website – Spring Festival

Tejikara Fire Festival (Summer): Gifu City Official Website – Summer Festival

The Tejikara Fire Festival is a spring festival held at Tejikarao Shrine. Its origins are unclear, but records from the Meiwa period (1760s) exist, indicating that the festival has at least a 300-year history. It is designated as an important intangible folk cultural asset of Gifu Prefecture.

The spring festival in April is the main event, while the August festival is conducted as a tourist and revival event. The August fire festival features events not seen in the main festival, such as ground-level fireworks and taiko drum performances. Although smaller in scale than the main festival, the August event alone attracts more than 30,000 visitors.

Quoted from the Gifu City Official Website


A Shower of Sparks with a Roar

The highlight of this festival is undoubtedly the mikoshi (portable shrine).

But this isn’t just any mikoshi. The mikoshi is carried while hand-held fireworks shower down sparks all around it. The mikoshi itself is loaded with gunpowder, and when ignited, it releases sparks, enveloping the mikoshi in flames.

As the deafening sound of firecrackers fills the air and a torrent of sparks falls, the bearers vigorously carry the mikoshi and dance around. In some towns, the bearers carry the mikoshi shirtless, making burns inevitable. You will be overwhelmed by the brave figure of the bearers, the roar, and the fire.

Quoted from World Event News

Thrilling! Be Cautious About Your Clothing!

This festival is a stimulating event unlike any other spring festival, so be sure to check it out. However, please be mindful of your clothing, as it’s a somewhat dangerous festival.

Note: The cover image is from Jordan’s Seasonal Special: Fireworks Festival 2016.

(Edited by 千八乃)


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