Kyoto Gozan Okuribi (Mountain Bonfire) is a traditional bonfire tradition event that takes place every year in August at Mt. Nyoigatake in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. It is widely known throughout Japan as “Daimonji-yaki” and “Daimonji-no-Okuribi”, but it is officially called “Gozan Okuribi”.
The spirit of the dead, “Seirei”, welcomed to the Bon Festival, has a religious meaning that it is sent back to the world. It is one of the four major events in Kyoto along with the Aoi Matsuri Festival and Gion Matsuri Festival etc.
Gozan Okuribi will be held even if it rains. There have been examples of postponement due to torrential rain in the past, but other than that, it has been carried out even if it was raining a little. Gozan Okuribi doesn’t have flashy streets and stalls like regular festivals, but it is a beautiful and quiet event like a sparkler.
You can just look at the letter-shaped fire, but you can feel the Kyoto-like atmosphere of Japan. Against the backdrop of the black mountain at night, when the fire shines on the torches of Gozan, the flames of the memorial service, and the peace flares up in Yamatoji. If you look closely, you will be filled with wonders and wonders. The people of Kyoto can think of their ancestors, and sympathize with the summer.
Gozan Okuribi is held every year on August 16th. The number of visitors is said to be over 100,000 even on weekdays, and the city is overflowing with people. A summer feature that colors the summer of Kyoto. Gozan Okuribi is particularly impressive.
The Gozan fires do not start at the same time, and the fires gradually light up in about an hour. And when it disappears, it disappears gradually. It is a very fantastic sight that is performed quietly. It doesn’t fade away like electricity, so you can feel a very tasteful atmosphere.
Please enjoy the magnificent and dramatic fire that floats in the night sky.
Gozan Okuribi (Mountain Bonfire) is a summer tradition that is also counted in the four major events in Kyoto. It is said that traditional events in Kyoto to be held in Bon Festival will send an ancestral spirit. Fire is lit on five mountains in Kyoto City on August 16 every year, and each letter is formed. Among them, “Daimonji” (the Chinese character is meaning is “big”) is also a symbol of Kyoto, so for that reason it is often called Daimonji-yaki. From the east to the west, “Daimonji” is first ignited, in the order of “Myoho”, “Boat shape”, “left Daimonji”, “Torii type”, it is lit for about 30 minutes.
The origins of Gozan Okuribi are said to be both the Heian era and the Muromachi era, and the theories are divided. By the way, “Kyoto Gozan” which represents Jikaku (temple ranking) of the temple is different thing. Gozan Okuribi’s “Gozan” (Five Mountains) are Mt. Daimonji, Mt. Matsugasakinishiyama, Mt. Matsugasakihigashiyama, Mt. Nishikamofunayama, Mt. Hidari – Daimonji, Mt. Mandara. Even though there are six mountains, it is five. “Myo” and “ho” of “Myoho” are counted as one mountain.
In order to see all these five letters in one place, we need to watch from a high place away. It seems that only Kyoto Tower and the Shogun Observatory are the only places to see all Bonfire in Kyoto city. These two can only participate in reservation and tour.
When “Daimonji” emerges in the east sky on August 16th at 8 pm, it is the start of Gozan Okuribi. Then, every five minutes, “Myoho”, “Boat shape”, “left Daimonji”, and “Torii type” start to light, and the ancestor’s spirit is sent off. The highlight of such Bonfire is the moment of a character and a form being lit and coming floating to darkness. When the fire is lit one after another and the letters are completed, applause is generated with cheers.
On 16th the same day as Gozan Okuribi, “Toro Nagashi” (floating lanterns on the water) is taking place at Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. The way the orange Toro (lantern) flows slowly through the river is very fantastic. It feels like time flows quietly. Since Toro is sold for 1, 000 yen, if you have the opportunity, please experience it. Please pray for the soul of your ancestors and spend a wonderful night in Bon Festival.
|Name:||Kyoto Gozan Okuribi|
|Address:||Matsugasakihigashiyama Kyoto Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0946 Japan|
|Access:||“Daimonji-yaki” (Mt. Nyoigatake)|
Keihan Outo-sen Line “Jingumarutamachi-eki Station” (within a short walking distance from this station)
|Tel:||(+81) 75-213-1717 (Kyoto-shi Tourism Association)|