Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi

(須賀川松明あかし)

Sukagawa City, Fukushima Pref.

Over 400 Years Caution ! Night Join Tohoku

About the festival

One of the three major fire festivals of Japan, the Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi is a tradition with over 420 years of history. It is said to have originated when locals first mourned the lives of the many people who died during Masamune Date's (the military commander of current day Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima Prefectures) attack on the local Sukagawa Castle in 1589. On the day of the festival, a massive torch, with a length of 10 meters and a weight of 3 tons, is carried through the city by roughly 150 vigorous local youth, all the way to Mt. Goro. Then, while the sound of bold taiko drums echo through the night, nearly 30 massive torches are lit one by one, filling the Autumn night sky in soul-stirring flames, as witnesses of the beautiful and solemn sight are overwhelmed. 

112 Reh Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi

Things to do

1. What a force! March with the massive torch!

112 Re1 1 Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi
112 Re1 2 Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi

The massive torch used in the festival is 10 meters long and weighs 3 tons. Approx. 150 young and strong locals put their strength together to heave this giant load through the city for a most spectacular parade. If you are healthy and between the age of a high school student and 40 years of age, anyone can help carry the torch. If you would like to participate, contact the festival committee office before hand. 

Besides the giant torch parade, there is also a small torch procession and a corner for making your own torches, that any one can join in freely.

2. Have your breath taken away by the pillar of fire!

112 Re2 1 Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi
112 Re2 2 Sukagawa Taimatsu Akashi

The highlight of the festival starts around 6:30pm. Giant torches are lit one by one as the sound of drums echo through the still and darkening sky. The massive pillars of flames can reach up to 10m in height and burn so profoundly you are sure to lose your breath. With prayers for the souls that lost their lives during the warring age, and with gratitude in heart for their ancestors, the locals are dear to this local tradition, a great example of Japanese mentality that you must not miss.

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates November 11st (Sat), 2017
    Held annually on the second Sunday of November
  • Place Taimatsu Dori street and Mt. Goro (in the Midorigaoka park)
  • General Participation Those who would like to participate in the carrying of the massive torch must first contact the office of the Sukagawa City Taimatsu Akashi Festival. (Please refer to contact information provided)
  • International Reception and Info. Available at Sukagawa Station Community Plaza
  • Restrooms Temporary toilets available
  • HP

    http://www.city.sukagawa.fukushima.jp/taimatsu/

  • SNS

    https://www.facebook.com/SukagawaKankou/

  • Contact Sukagawa City Taimatsu Akashi Committee Office
    0248-88-9144

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Please be careful of burning ash around the torches.
Use of drones is prohibited.
The areas around the venue can become very crowded so please be sure to respect the no trespassing zones, traffic regulations and follow the directions of guards and guides.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Sukagawa City

[Nearest Station]
JR Tohoku Main Line, Sukagawa Station

Venue
Mt. Goro (Gorozan) (inside Midorigaoka Park)
Address: Area of Atagoyama, Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture
*There is a shuttle bus leaving the Sukagawa Station. There is a fee. 15min walk from the station.

Yuki Kishimoto
Writer
Born in Ishikawa. Planner & editor. Loves tofu, sake & soccer.