Bare-chested and ecstatic men carry torched mikoshi as they blow up fire sparks like a red hot waterfall. The sight is accentuated with ringing bells and firecrackers blasting—an impressive fire festival of sounds and flames. Tejikarao Shrine's 300 year-long annual Tejikara fire festival held in the spring moves down to the Nagara riverbank for better viewing during the summer. The riverbank levee transforms into seats ideally located to witness the action-filled fire festival with Nagara River and Mt. Kinka in the background.
After the massive 20m tall lanterns are lit, the ""waterfall fireworks"" on the mikoshi are ignited. If all the lanterns light up, then it is said that the year's harvest will turn out well. Furthermore, it is also said that you will be free of illnesses for the following year if you walk under the flames.
The other attraction not seen in the main festival (in the spring) is "Jiware Hanabi" where aerial rocket fireworks are exploded on the ground. Hemispherically shaped blasts of fireworks exploding in front of you is surely an intense sight to witness.
Imagine the sight of bare-chested and ecstatic men carrying firecracker-equipped mikoshi under fire sparks falling all around like a red hot waterfall. The sight of bright lights fuse with the sounds of firecrackers, bells and the people to create an overwhelming and thrilling experience that you must see.
Hemispherically shaped blasts go off on the riverbank as Jiware Hanabi takes place, exploding aerial fireworks on the ground. You get to witness fireworks that would normally go off in the sky, but right in front of you!
This is an event that only happens during the summer, and not at the main fire festival held in the spring. A must see, for you will not witness anything like this elsewhere.
Cormorant fishing (or "ukai") is carried out during the time of the festival on Nagara River. Cormorant fishing is a 1,300 year old traditional fishing method using Japanese cormorant birds to catch fish such as ayu (sweet fish). They are aiming to register the method as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage. The method's rarity and excitement has long captured the hearts of observers such as those in power and others immersed in culture (Charlie Chaplin is said to have loved it). Don't miss this chance to watch ukai!
Please do not enter prohibited areas, and follow staff's directions due to safety.
Access to Gifu City
JR Gifu Station (JR Tokaido Main Line, JR Takayama Line)
Meitetsu Gifu Station (Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line, Meitetsu Kagamihara Line)
Address: Nagarafukumitsu, Gifu City
Take the Gifu Bus bound for Takatomi (N80) or any busses with destination numbers ranging from N32 to N86 (bound for Gifukouen or Takatomi direction), or the ""counterclockwise city loop."" It will take 17 min, with a bus fare of ¥210.
Get off at Ukaiya, and walk for 3 min.