Onbashira Festival (Shimo-sha Yamadashi) 御柱祭 下社 山出し


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Held once every 6 years by the Suwa Taisha Shrine, the Onbashira-sai Matsuri is held in two parts. In early April, the Yamadashi is when the logs are hauled from the mountain forest to a resting place called Shimekake. Along the way, the log is slid down a slope (with men riding it) for the festival's most dramatic event called Ki-otoshi (Log Drop). These photos were taken on April 10, 2004 for the Shimo-sha Shrine's Yamadashi.

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Onbashira Matsuri (Shimo-sha Satobiki) 御柱祭 下社 里曵き


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During May 8-10, 2004, the logs were ceremoniously hauled to the Shimo-sha Shrines and with great fanfare erected at the four corners of both the Harunomiya and Akinomiya Shrines. A parade was also held. These photos were taken during this three-day period. Also see my video at YouTube here and here too.

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