Things to do / Traditional festivals

Sekiyama Shrine Fire Festival

Sekiyama Shrine in Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, will be visited on July 13 by pairs of men who will show off stick-fighting techniques that have been preserved since the Sengoku period (1454-1573).

In addition to the action — which will happen again this Sunday along with a parade of mikoshi (portable shrine) — the Shinto site is eager to offer a number of other attractions this Saturday.

Among them is Matsubiki, a fire festival for a good harvest, at which visitors will be allowed to pull ropes attached to piles of burned logs. (Yuki Yamauchi)