For many people, the winter season is all about staying indoors and getting warm and cozy, but in the town of Nankan, Kumamoto Prefecture, firefighters will be getting wet and wild as part of a shōbō dezome-shiki (New Year's fire review).
After a parade of fire-dueling heroes and fire engines, there will be two events you won't want to miss. From 11 a.m., squads of firefighters will keep close to the Seki River for a friendly competition involving shooting jets of water at a target in a basket. The finishing touch will be a tradition, over 100 years old, called hōsui gassen, in which teams of firefighters shoot water at each other after jumping into the stream. (Yuki Yamauchi)