Events in Joetsu | Myoko Events & Festivals


Myoko has regional and snow-related events whose traditions have been handed down from ancient times. If your timing is right, be sure to take part, for unique, snowy festival experience.


Dontoyaki Snow Fireworks Festival at Myoko Suginohara

img_events01This mid-January event is kicked off when men and women whose zodiac sign is the same as the new year light a fire. As a way of praying for the well-being of their family, business prosperity, and a rich harvest, participants burn New Year’s decorations and kakizome (traditional New Year’s calligraphy) in the fire. If the flames rise when your kakizome is burnt, it means your handwriting will improve. Mochi, small squares of pounded, chewy rice, is also cooked in the fire, and eating it is said to prevent illness over the next year. Local sak√© is readily available on this day, and a fireworks show completes the event.


Kamakura Festival of Lights at Akakura Onsen

img_events02The kamakura, or igloo, festival originated as a New Year’s event in which children built traditional Japanese igloos, celebrated the god of water and sang songs to drive off birds. These songs are for driving away harmful birds from the fields to improve the harvest. Today, these kamakura igloos are built at Akakura Onsen. Participants sit in the kamakura to enjoy the snowy ambience and illumination at night.

img_events03After skiing and dinner, head to Akakura Onsen to experience this traditional festival.