Kurama Fire Festival, Kyoto
Kurama Fire Festival is the annual festival of Yuki-jinja Shrine in Kurama, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City. Every year, it will be held on the evening of 22nd the same as “Jidaimatsuri Festival” in Kyoto. The “Kurama Fire Festival” is counted as one of Kyoto’s three main strange festivals with Ushi-matsuri (Ox Festival) and “Yasurai Matsuri Festival”. It is also counted as the Kyoto Three Great Fire Festival, together with Gozan no Okuribi (Mountain Bonfire), “Otaimatsu” (means “Shuni-e (Omizutori, Water-Drawing Festival)”).
Although Yuki-jinja Shrine was deified originally in the Imperial Palace of Kyoto, then it was transferred to Kurama located in the north of the Imperial Palace in order to calm a succession of natural disasters and wish for peace. During the case of the relocation of the sacred Palace, it is said that the queue with torches, divine tools, etc. became a line of about 1 kilometer in length. It was the “Kurama Fire Festival” that the inhabitants of Kurama who was deeply moved by this procession tells that Yuki-jinja ‘s miraculous virtue and ceremony will be left behind in later generations.
The highlight of the Kurama Fire Festival is the Mikoshi (portable shrine) parades of the shrine in the flame of bonfire. From around 18 o’clock the torch will be ignited with the shouting “Shinji ni mairasshare!” (Visit the Shinto Ritual!). And, while walking around the colony, they leave for Otabijo (temporary shrine) called “Nakama” (comrade). They are going to walk with the call “Saireiya, Sairyo!” (It means “Rites and Festivals”).
The large torch will be moved to the front of the mountain gate of Kurama Temple around 20 o’clock. It is probably the most interesting aspect that as many as 200 torches fascinate is front of the mountain gate. After that, the Mikoshi walks inside the colony and is settled in the Otabijo. There seems to be a lot of young women participating as there is a legend that it will become an easy delivery when you pull this rope of Mikoshi.
The “Kurama Fire Festival” is the festival held only one day, but many people visit in the past year. The most recommended viewing spot is the approach to Kurama Temple. However, it seems that it is necessary to take place for hours beforehand because it is also an interview place for the media and others. In restaurants and souvenir shops in the approaching path, there seems to be the shop that makes the second floor a charge viewing seat.
|Name:||Kurama Fire Festival|
|Address:||Kuramahonmachi 1073 Kyoto Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 601-1111 Japan|
|Access:||Eizandentetsu Kurama-sen Line “Kurama-eki Station” (11 minutes walk)|