Fri, Aug

Kyoto Gozan no Okuribi 2024


The locals call it Daimonji, the celebration during the height of the Obon festival where Kyoto‘s surrounding mountains are lit up with five bonfires. There are similar events throughout Japan, such as in Nara and Hakone.

What happens?

Three of the bonfires are lit in the form of kanji characters, while the other two are shapes of a boat and a Shintō gate. It is said that the deceased family’s relatives rise from the spirit world for visits during August 16, therefore Okuribi — the name of the festival — literally means, “send-off fire”.

How to get there: What’s the best view?

To get the best view of all the bonfires, head to the center of the city: Nakagyo Ward. Or, you can also head to one of the five mountains — Daimonji, Daikokuten, Funa Nishigamo, Daihoku-San, Okita, and Mandara. The bonfire is lit like the beacons of Gondor, one after the after. It starts from 8 p.m. on Daimonji mountain.

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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