19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Sacred tree

It was taken during Toba no Himatsuri (Fire festival of Toba), which takes place every February in Toba Shinmei-sha (shrine). Two teams formed by the living area take part in the festival, and participants are wearing distinctive costume called 'Neko'. Participants of the two areas compete each other by how fast they take the divine tree out from the burning Suzumi (big torch) and offer them to God. The harvest and weather are divined by the condition of the burning Suzumi and the winning team.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2019
Date Uploaded: 09.2021
Photo Location: Nisio City, Japan
Copyright: © Hidetoshi Ogata