Kurama No Hi Matsuri

Kyoto’s Famous Fire Festival

October 23, 2013

Last night I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, or in this case, in Kyoto on October 22. Kurama No Hi Matsuri is an annual festival that takes place in Kurama, a small village that sits at the base of the mountain for which the town is named.

The festival was jam-packed with both Japanese locals and foreigners, along with approximately 100 police officers on hand (just to be on the safe side). Local families participate in the festival by lighting kagaribi or fire torches and chanting, “seiraya saiyro.” 

The processions began around 6 p.m. and lasted until 9 p.m., where the individual fires were combined into a larger one just outside of the town shrine. Once the processions began, it was easy to forget the crowds and get lost in the mesmerizing processions.

Long story short -$15 train fare, inhaling large quantities of smoke and being herded like cattle: unbelievably worth it.

See for yourself!

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Kurama No Hi Matsuri- an annual fire festival that takes place on October 22 each year in Kyoto, Japan

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