A couple of weeks ago friends of mine and I went camping in the prefecture of Gifu, a couple hours north, north east of Nagoya towards Nagano and it was fun. The camp site is nestled between a couple of mountain ranges along side of a series of rivers. I was able to go to a bonfire in Japan for the first time. This bonfire was setup by other people at the camp site, but the fire pit area was near our camp site, so we just joined them.
I guess this is very typical of a Japanese style bonfire. The first step, someone builds a meter or so tall box of logs and fills it with smaller pieces of wood and papers. This took place mid day. Shortly before the start of the bonfire, you need to gather all your friends, a couple them should have guitars or other musical instruments. Once that is done, the guy below poured a few liters of gas into the bonfire, I guess he was sure it would light on the first try.
Next, the guy who poured gas into the bonfire step back and lit a torch and made 5 of 6 loops around the camp fire, like it was the Olympic torch relay. During his run, he was also yelling stuff getting everyone ready for the camp fire.Then you light the fire, again, similar to the Olympics.Then this was really funny, after the fire got going, everyone formed a human chain and started to sing folk music. And it turns out 70% of Japanese camp fire folk music is Beatles covers.After everyone became to tired to sing, the fire was still too hot to get near. It took about 30 or 40 minutes to fall over and cool enough to kind of sit around.Here is the camp site during the day: