These photos offer a stunning look at one of Japan’s many festivals.

Japan has no shortage of festivals for every season, from the weird and wacky, to the absolutely magical. One such festival that would fall into the latter category is the Tengu no Hi-watari (天狗の火渡り), which takes place annually in Japan’s northern-most prefecture of Hokkaido. The festival – held at the Ebisu Shrine in the town of Furubira – features a tengu, among others, running through a bonfire of towering flames. Tengu, if you’re not familiar, are creatures found in Japanese folklore, usually localized as “goblins” in English, and often depicted with a red face and distinctively long nose.

Many cultures throughout the world have their own fire walks, which normally involves participants walking across hot coals or embers. The towering flames involved at this fire walk in Hokkaido certainly make for a more impressive spectacle, which was captured and shared on Twitter by musician and photographer Katsu (克), who goes by @katuka2 online. In the photos, Katsu captures the intense contrast between the dark shadows of night against the bright blazing flames, as the masked fire walker emerges from the fire in a hellish scene. The photos immediately received the attention of the Twitter community – and rightfully so – wracking up 37,000 retweets and nearly 70,000 likes since they were published on September 12.

▼ “It’s more like ‘an amazing, crazy festival where a tengu leaps into a blazing inferno’ than a ‘fire walk'” Katsu says of the event.

▼ His explanation describes the scene perfectly.

▼ Look at those sparks fly!

After the tengu’s walk came the shishi-mai (lion’s dance), which produced an even more magical display of flying sparks. Perhaps most impressive, though, is the fact that the ones running the lion costume through the flames were young boys.

Earlier this year in July, Katsu shared similarly breathtaking photos from another festival held in the same town of Furubira, featuring the Tengu no Hi-watari event.

Photography isn’t Katsu’s only talent – he is also the guitarist, engineer, and sound producer for the music project laufen, which aims to create music with a “Hokkaido-esque sound” that “will still be around in 10, even 20 years.” Along with creating music and participating in live musical events, Katsu works with those trying to share Hokkaido’s charm and appeal, by photographing the prefecture’s gorgeous sights and covering events.

▼ The official theme song for the Shiretoko Fantasia – Aurora Fantasy event, by laufen

Japan has so much more to offer outside of Tokyo, and maybe after seeing Katsu’s work you’ll think about taking a trip up north to Hokkaido for your next visit to Japan!

Source, images: Twitter/@katuka2