Takao Firewalking Festival


It all started with a pyromaniac magician, he was trying to use his black magic with three finger vulcan grip to start a fire, but all he was getting was smoke.

Playing With Matches

Eventually this unimpressed monk who harbored great disdain for vulcans bust out his giant match he had painstakingly crafted by hand over the last century. He lit it and…


I think this picture pretty much sums up the crux of the event for me, amazing! You should ask my wife if it is a good idea to go to a bonfire the size of a house while wearing a puffy down jacket.. Only a few holes burned into it before we backed away.

We arrived on time for the beginning of the event, but that was an hour or two too late for a front row spot, which would have been perfect for taking pictures without heads, arms, cameras, little Japanese guys standing on step ladders, and 8 foot tall tripods in the way. My height advantage in Japan proved useless and I ended up with barely any clean shots without any of the aforementioned items in my pictures. We will definitely make sure this does not happen next year! I highly recommend anyone in Tokyo checking this out due to the amazing photographic potential you could have if you claimed a spot in front of the crowds.


5 thoughts on “Takao Firewalking Festival

  1. You can almost smell the smoke and then you can feel the heat…
    I know some fire bugs in this family who might get too turned on looking at these 🙂

  2. I just did some research and this is located only an hour from where I live right now. I cannot wait to go in a couple months! What time would you recommend getting there for a prime spot??

  3. Jessica, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I definitely have good advice for getting the best possible shots you can at this festival. Don’t do the two things that we did the two times we went…

    -Don’t be late. Get there at a minimum of 3 hours early. I would guess there are only 30 front row spots along the barrier that will not be blocked off by festival participants.

    -Don’t get there early and take a spot near a corner. We did this on our second attempt. We got front row near the corner where the participants enter and ended up having our view almost completely blocked by people just standing within the perimeter.

    Let me know if you have any other questions and have fun!

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