Farmers in the Kawanishi region of Tokamachi City cultivate some of the best quality rice in all of Japan. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the Oshirakura Baito festival, which takes place every year in January. On the day of the festival, the local villagers erect a large dome-shaped hut called a baito upon the snowfield using straw and zelkova wood. People then gather inside these huts to enjoy drinking and eating together. Finally, at the end of the night, the huts are set on fire and the shape and movement of the flames is used to predict the crop conditions for the following year and to pray for a good harvest. The flames from the burning baito can reach heights of 30 meters, resulting in a warming and spectacular end to the night.
|Place||Oshirakura Community Center Grounds|