When Onbashira takes place (once every 6 years, or every 7 by traditional Japanese reckoning), all 200k souls in the Suwa region participate as it is an immensely revered festival here. It is also reveled by upwards of 2 million visitors who come to see the spectacle of men riding massive logs as they are slid down perilous slopes. The logs, 17 meters in length and weighing 12 tons, are then manhandled 10km from the mountains to one of 4 shrines.

There they are erected into the corner posts of the new shrine buildings, with some men defying death by riding the logs as they are stood into position. This 1200 year old festival is celebrated as one of the major “masculine” festivals in Japan.