EVENT

Catch One of These 3 Eventful Festivals at Mt. Yoshino in Nara

Mt. Yoshino (Yoshinoyama) is a mountain in Nara Prefecture that has been a subject in so many literary writings, and with good reasons: it is a gorgeous spot for cherry blossom viewing. It has also served as an important destination for religious purposes such as pilgrimages and the area continues to attract many foreign people.…

Onda Matsuri: Nara’s ”Sexy Rice Planting Festival”

In various areas of Japan, festivals for fertility, good luck and harvest are common. You might have heard about the famous ‘Honen Matsuri’ or ‘Kanamara Matsuri’ where the bounty of harvest is celebrated with a phallus parade. There are different versions of this type of festival around Japan. One such festival is the ‘Onda Matsuri’…

Omizutori: a Fiery Festival in Nara

In Japan, there are many ways to repent of your sins, and these ways usually differ per place. In Nara Prefecture people observe a two-week long ceremony that serves as a repentance ritual, with the final observance known as ‘Omizutori’. It has its origins in the Buddhist belief that people need to try to cleanse…

Be Mystified by the Glowing Lanterns at the Setsubun Mantoro Festival!

A burning lamp or lantern has a special meaning in Japan. The light helps people overcome the darkness of ignorance. One festival in Nara has more than 3,000 lanterns being lit every year. This is known as “Setsubun Mantoro.” At this time, many celebrations are done all over Japanese shrines. flickr.com/ The Background goldenjipangu.com/ February…

Watch A Mountain Be Set Ablaze at Nara’s Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival!

One Japanese festival which has been taking place for hundreds of years and has no clear origin is being done yearly on Mount Wakakusa (or Wakakusayama in Japanese), a high mountain located in Nara Prefecture. The festival is called “Yamayaki” which literally means “mountain roast” due to the burning of dead grass on the mountain.…

Interact with Nara’s Deer at Shikayose, a Winter Deer-Calling Event

Shikayose or deer calling is a winter event in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. This event held every morning (except on Monday) during February to mid-March, starting from 1892 until now. Shikayose is also held for a few days during the summer. Author’s photo The Deer in Nara Author’s photo As we know, deer…

Takigi Noh, The Graceful Ancient Musical Theatre

Firelight Noh Firelight Noh (in Kufukuji called Takigi O-Noh, in which “O” is honorific prefix) is a Japanese ancient musical theater. Its plays are performed outdoors illuminated by the light of bonfires in the night sky. It originated from Kofukuji temple, Nara, Japan, first staged in 869, the temple is now World Heritage Site, and…