Update: This event has been canceled due to the coronavirus.
Ever wanted to see people walking barefoot through fire? The fire walking (Hiwatari) festival is an annual event on the second Sunday of March and consists of a large open-air fire ritual called Saito Goma-ku. It is held in the open area in front of the Kito-den Hall at the foot of Mount Takao.
As though it were by the hands of Izuna Daigongen, worshippers rub their bodies with sticks called nadegi, which are later thrown into the flames. When the fire dies down, yamabushi and participants walk barefoot over the hot coals, praying for protection against sickness and calamity and for safety within the family. The flames are considered to purify people by burning all defilements away.
To get there, the best is to arrive at Takaosanguchi Station via the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station. It takes approximately 1 hour and costs ¥390.
Venue: Takaosan Car Park next to the station
Organizer and contact (Japanese): https://www.takaosan.or.jp/taiken/hiwatari.html
via Tokyo’s Festivals:
Tokyo’s Festivals presents an overview on Tokyo’s great festivals (mostly free festivals about food, culture, fireworks and music), so that more people find out about Tokyo’s best events. If you are interested in festivals in Tokyo, feel free to visit and like their page (Link: fb.com/TokyosFestivals) and follow their instagram (Link: instagram.com/tokyosfestivals).