Tradition and community are great, but there’s one more thing this Nagano celebration gets a boost from.

Since Shinto is a faith in which divinity is thought to exist throughout nature, many of the religion’s traditional festivals and rituals incorporate some aspect of the natural environment. One of the most dramatic examples is the Onbashira Festival at Nagano Prefecture’s Suwa Shrine, which was first held over 1,200 years ago.

The Onbashira festivities are scattered over a handful of days in April and May, during which a number of trees are chopped down in the nearby mountains, stripped, and ridden down to the shrine. At the last stage of the festival, the trees are stood upright on the shrine grounds, often with a boisterous crowd of participants clinging to the trunk and chanting loudly as it’s raised.

▼ Video of the Onbashira Festival (tree raising at 2:15)

The whole thing looks physically exerting and at least a little dangerous, but every year crowds gather to take part. This, truly, is the power of tradition and community. Oh, and one more thing, as shown by Twitter user @dokudamiY.

With the Onbashira festival going on this week, @dokudamiY decided to stop by the branch of convenience store Family Mart located near the entrance of Suwa Shrine, where he snapped this photo.

As you can see, the manager has decided that with the festival underway, he needs to be well-stocked on one particular item. So what is it?

Sake. Cup after cup after cup of cheap, single-serving sake.

Actually, sake has long had a connection with Shinto, as in olden days the disinfectant, purifying qualities of alcohol were often taken to be a connection to the gods. Even now, it’s a common offering and used in blessings at wedding ceremonies or when starting construction of new homes.

But, on a more secular level, it’s also a quick, tasty, and inexpensive way to get inebriated. If you’ve got the day off from work because of the festival, no one is going to be mad at you for knocking back a stiff drink or two, and if you’re about to climb up to the top of a non-stationary tree with no net below you, a cup of liquid courage beforehand might settle your nerves.

It probably won’t do much for your coordination, though, so make sure you’ve got that safety harness attached properly.

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Source: Jin, Twitter/@dokudamiY