Preparation for the festival starts in mid-September of the previous year, when firewood is collected and placed in the center of the shrine's pavilion. Sacred trees, materials for beams and rafters, and small sticks for a fire on the top of the pavilion are all logged from the forest, which is jointly owned by the villagers. In late September, the village head and representatives from the village who are at climacteric ages preview the sacred trees. In mid-October, Sanyako group members and villagers who are 25 years old (a climacteric age) participate in logging the sacred trees.
Five straight beech trees that are about 30 centimeters in diameter and about 18 meters tall are selected as sacred trees.
On the morning of the day when the sacred trees are logged, villagers pray to the mountain gods along the way for the safety of the proceedings. At the beech forests where the sacred trees are located, they hang sacred ropes and cloths, and set up a temporary altar.
The tools for logging the sacred trees and beams etc. are arranged on the altar, along with Sake, white rice, and other offerings.
Nozawa-gumi group members, preservation association members, and villagers at climacteric ages gather in front of the temporary altar to pray together and perform self-purification rites.Nozawa Onsen Kawaichiya ryokan