Nozawa Onsen Now daily snow and weather - Thursday 12th January 2006

Nozawa Onsen Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Nozawa Onsen region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 10:15am on Thursday 12th January 2006
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall
weather condition
Snowing very heavily
Base temp:
0°C

Top temp:
0°C
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
-
wind condition
Calm
Poor with foggy haze
This report
Thursday 12th January 2006, 10:15am
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Archive report: Posted at 10:15am on Thursday 12th January 2006
The latest Nozawa Onsen Now report can be found here

Low gloomy, overcast heavily snowing clouds. Few people around with visibility quite low also. Signs up top are all being choked by the high snow levels and some small lift chairs are almost scraping against the ground.

NOTE: The big fire festival is due on the 15th of Jan. We'll post more on that soon. If you are attending the event this year then please don't forget to bring along a camera as the fire and snow at night along with the traditional presentation make for some wonderful snap shots.

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Not snow report related, but about famouse Nozawa Dosojin Fire Festival coming up on the 15th. It goes something like this:

"This festival is one of the three most famous fire festivals in Japan. It is held on January 15th every year to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year. The festival dates back to 1863 and though the location has changed, the festivities remain the same. During this festival the twenty-five and forty-two year old men from the village play a very important role. An old belief in Japan dictates that, for men, these years are unlucky ages. The twenty-five and the forty-two year old men in their unlucky ages construct the shaden (shrine) from beech wood that reaches a height of 18 meters. Every year it takes 100 villagers to build the shrine. The trees are cut down in October and brought down from the mountain, through the village, on January 13th. After the shaden has been constructed, the priest from Kosuge shrine performs a ceremony to endow it with a God. Along with the shaden there are an average of five tôrô (dedicatory lantern poles) erected every year. These poles are made by a family in the village to celebrate the birth of the first son. The tôrô are offered to the Gods in a prayer for health and good fortune. The festivities begin with the lighting of the fire by the twenty-five and fourty-two year old men. A small group of men carry a torch, which is lit by striking two stones together, from the Kôno residence to the festival grounds. The torch is used to start a bonfire from which the handmade torches, used to attack the shrine, are lit. The festival centers around the shaden, where the fourty-two year olds sit on top and the twenty-five year olds stand guard at the base. Those who are 41 and 43 years old stand around the perimeter to protect the spectators. Torch bearing villagers of all ages attempt to break through the guards and light the shaden on fire. A dangerous and lively battle ensues. The defenders try to put out the fire by striking it with pine branches. The attack lasts for about one hour, after which the 42 year olds call an end to the ceremony and the shaden together with the tôrô are set on fire in an offering to the Gods. The entire festival can take up to four hours from the beginning to the end, but the main attraction is the battle between the guards and the torch bearing villagers."

More info can be found in an previous article on Snow Japan:
http://www.snowjapan.com/e/features/features-75.html

Archive report: Posted at 10:15am on Thursday 12th January 2006
The latest Nozawa Onsen Now report can be found here

Nozawa Onsen Now ski lift operation notes:

Yamabiko and Hikage Gondolas open. Peak chairs and the quad bubble chair are all open. Courses: Karasawa, Yamabiko, Uenodaira, Paradise, Rinkan Skyline, Challenge, Utopia, Schne

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