Taimatsu Akashi Festival
For over 400 years, one of Japan’s Three Great Fire Festivals lights up the November nights at the foot of Mt. Gorozan in Sukagawa City. The Taimatsu Akashi festival honors the spirits of those who fell in battle for the unification of Japan in the 17th century. On the second Saturday of November, groups of men transport 30 enormous torches—including a colossal ten-meter, three-ton torch—through the town to the summit of Mt. Gorozan. At sunset, sacred flames and embers are taken from nearby Nikaido Shrine to ignite the gigantic pillars. Accompanied by heart-pounding beats from an ensemble of taiko drummers, the flames shoot high into the night sky, filling the air with smoke and flying embers.