Nachi no Ogi Matsuri is the grand annual festival of Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine.
When Emperor Jimmu (the founding emperor of Japan, and the patriarch of its royal lineage) entered into the land of Kumano, he discovered Nachi Falls and decided to enshrine the waterfall itself as a deity. Later, in the 5th year of Nintoku Emperor's reign (317 AD), a shrine pavilion was erected and deities were welcomed in. This founded the present day Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, while Nachi Falls became a separate Hiro Shrine. The 133m tall waterfall of Nachi is registered as one of the 100 best waterfalls of Japan, as well as a UNESCO world heritage site, while being a rare shrine with a waterfall as its deity.
The Ogi Matsuri is a sacred rite where deities enshrined at Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine ride on 12 portable "Ogi mikoshi" shrines to make a return visit to Nachi Falls where they used to be enshrined. Shrine parishioners dressed in white fearlessly walk the shrine's stone steps carrying flaming torches weighing approximately 50 kg. Many sightseers come from all across the country to witness this stately festival.
The climactic ceremonial lighting of the large torch takes place on the shrine's walkway in front of the waterfall at 2 pm. This event attracts a lot of viewers, and therefore we suggest that you find a spot at an early time to assure viewing.
Picture provided by Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine
Due to the sacred nature of the event, obstructing the procession is strictly prohibited.
Access to Higashimuro County
JR Kii-Katsuura Station
Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, Hiro Shrine
Catch the Kumano-kotsu bus from Kii-Katsuura Station to "Nachisan" bus stop.
Address: Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama Pref.