Noto Island is located in Nanao Bay, on the Noto Peninsula. The Kôda Fire Festival of Noto Island’s Iyahime Shrine is one of the three biggest fire festivals in Japan.
According to legend, Iyahiko (male deity), who formed the Province of Echigo (now Niigata Prefecture), visits the island to see his lover Iyahime (female deity) once a year on this day. The summer fire festival is the biggest event of the year for the people of Kôda.
A portable shrine arrives at the square after a ceremony at the shrine. Seven kiriko lanterns of different sizes are paraded to the music of gongs, drums and flutes. A 30-m tall, huge conic pillar torch welcomes the parade in the square. The rhythm of the music changes to a dynamic tune. People place the lanterns, and run around the pillar torch holding a straw torch. A highlight of the festival is when they throw the torches at the pillar torch. The fire reaches the top in an instant; huge flames light up the night sky. It is said that if the pillar falls towards the mountains, the harvest will be good, and if it falls towards the sea, the fish catches will be good. The pillar torch is attached with a gohei, which is said to bring long life. When the pillar torch falls, people dash over to it to get the gohei, and the festival reaches its climax.
●Dynamic scene of the largest torch in Noto burning.
●The audience can participate with a hand torch.
●A variety of music livens up the festival.
Day: Last Saturday of July
Location: Kôda-machi, Noto Island, Nanao City
Inquiries: Nanao City Tourism Promotion Section (Tel: 0767-53-8424)