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[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Arrows Fly at Spectacular Fire Festival in Wakayama

Using flaming arrows, high school students ignited a massive field to clear old grass and promote new growth, leaving visitors amazed by the stunning display.



Kushimoto Koza High School archery club members shoot arrows toward the field on January 27 in Kushimoto, Wakayama prefecture. (©Kyodo)

An enchanting festival unfolded on January 27 at Cape Shionomisaki, the southernmost tip of Honshu in Kushimoto town, Wakayama Prefecture. Approximately 100,000 square meters of Boro no Shiba ("watchtower lawn") overlooking the Pacific Ocean were set ablaze. As dusk fell, members of the local Kushimoto Koza High School archery club initiated the event by launching flaming arrows into the air toward the field.

Fire spreading through the 100,000 square meter Boro no Shiba ("watchtower lawn") on January 27. (©Kyodo)

The festival, promoted by the local tourism association as Honshu's Southernmost Fire Festival, serves a dual purpose. Apart from the visually stunning display, it aims to eliminate pests by burning the old grass. This stimulates the growth of new shoots.

Visitors also enjoyed purchasing local products and watching dance performances. The festival served shorasan-nabe, a regional hot pot with minced fish balls, to the approximately 800 people in attendance.

The spreading fire created a beautiful contrast against the darkness. (©Kyodo)

When the arrows descended onto the grass, the flames danced and soared, engulfing the vast lawn. Kazuya Nagai, an office worker from Minabe, Wakayama Prefecture, attended the event with his wife. Expressing his awe, he said, "I was amazed by the fantastic, magnificent sight. My wife was also deeply moved. We want to see it again next year."


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun

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