A Dangerous 1,200 Year Old Festival, Riding Giant Logs in Japan

Every six years the Suwa area in central Nagano celebrates the Onbashira Festival. Onbashira, which translates to “the honorable pillars,” attracts thousands of people each year who participate in moving 16 massive fir tree trunks from the mountains to the shrines of Suwa. To reach the shrines, the trunks are pulled with ropes and ridden down steep hills, through a river and across the streets, in the 1,200-year-old festival.