The Opening Ceremony of Oni Hanabi in Jigokudani

In June, the weather in Hokkaido tends to be cool, and one result of cool weather in Noboribetsu Onsen are foggy nights. Here at Dai-ichi Takimotokan, we think this makes the whole area feel very mysterious and beautiful.

We also think it makes perfect weather for Oni Hanabi!

As we mentioned in an earlier post about the Oni Hanabi, we held the opening ceremony as planned on the evening of June 1.

What are the Oni Hanabi in Jigokudani?

Near Dai-ichi Takimotokan is Jigokudani or Hell Valley, the source of the mineral-rich water in our baths and home to Yukijin, the god who protects from illness and disaster. We celebrate them in many ways, and the Oni Hanabi or Demon Fireworks are one of those ways. During the festival, we launch the Tezutsu Hanabi in a special evening event. It is a very dramatic scene and always looks as though Jigokudani is erupting.

The official start time was 8:30pm, but many guests began gathering before 8pm.

We were all a bit anxious if the rain would stop in time or not, but it did and the opening ceremony started as scheduled. Thanks, perhaps, to the Yukijin? We think maybe so!

The above photo shows the torches being lit. Last year, more than 40,000 people in total came to see the show! Noboribetsu Mayor Haruichi Ogasawara and Masako Karakami, Chairman of the Noboribetsu International Tourism and Convention Association welcomed everyone. Then, the Oni Hanabi began!

The demons arrive!

The demons descend the stairs!

Small children (and maybe even some adults, too?) were afraid of the demons and cried a little bit.

Three red and three blue demons took turns launching the fireworks.

To see all six demons launching fireworks was really amazing!

Finally, the ceremony closed with a special set of fireworks.

Finally, after the fireworks ended and everyone was safe and cozy for the night, thunder and lightning filled the area starting around 9:30pm. It rained and rained. We were very grateful that the ceremony had gone forward without rain or trouble of any kind. Dai-ichi Takimotokan is the closest to Jigokudani, so please come join us for the next event. Summer in Hokkaido doesn’t get any better than this!

Oni Hanabi
Every Thursday and Friday until July 26, 2019
Starting at 8:30pm
Jigokudani Observatory

*Please note that the event may be cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. We appreciate your understanding.