Organized by Yokaiya (@AidaKazunari), the Nakanosawa Onsen Snow Festival held at a hot spring in the town of Inawashiro, Fukushima prefecture is an annual event that taps into yokai, the spirits and demons of Japanese folklore and hopes to revitalize the area using their appeal. The event, where many gather and pray for abundant snowfall, is highlighted by a procession of elaborate and eerie costumes of famous yokai such as the yuki-onna(Snow Woman).

Japanese photographer and artist Shimesaba (@zz_saba) attended this year's festival and captured some great shots that look absolutely otherworldly. Among them are these stunning photos of Ichinoshin (@oichi_gozen) dressed up wearing a traditional kitsune(fox) mask by Takeshi Shodo (@CalligraphyRoom).

Source: @zz_saba

Source: @zz_saba

"I went to see the Fukishima Snow Festival. Seeing it up close and personal, the "fox mask masquerade" is so mysterious and divine. I think this is a part of Japanese culture you can be very proud of."

The fox mask, traditionally worn in a number of Shinto festivals and having represented magical shapeshifting divine messengers in Japanese folklore, makes for an imposing but enchanting presence in the procession. The still shot also captures Ichinoshin exhaling white breath in the cold, and flaunting a gorgeous costume as well to make it seem as if actual yokai have been summoned to the festival's parade.

You can see more of the fantastical procession of the Nakanosawa Onsen Snow Festival in a video shared by Yokaiya on YouTube:

You can also check out more of Shimesaba's awesome photography we introduced previously, showing off gorgeous palanquins paraded at an art festival.

By - Big Neko.