Tall order: 1,200-year-old tradition continues in Nagano Prefecture’s Suwa district

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Passionate cries fill the air as hundreds of participants lug a giant fir trunk through the Suwa district in Nagano Prefecture during the Onbashira Festival. Eight huge trunks were hauled into two pavilions at Suwa Taisha Shrine from Tuesday to Thursday for the event, which takes place every six years. Even masks couldn’t hide the joy on the faces of locals, who reveled in the atmosphere of a festival that has been part of the region’s history for more than 1,200 years.