Wed, Aug

Kyoto Gozan no Okuribi 2023


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

Three of the bonfires are lit in the form of kanji characters, while the other two are shapes of a boat and a Shinto gate. It is said that the deceased family’s relatives rise from the spirit world for visits during August 16th, therefore Okuribi literally means, “send-off-fire”. To get the best view of all the bonfires, head to the center of the city: Nakagyo Ward. Or, you can also head one of the five mountains – Daimonji, Daikokuten, Funa Nishigamo, Daihoku-San, Okita and Mandara. The bonfire is lit between intervals of five minutes, starting at 8:00 PM on Daimonji mountain.

2022 will mark the first time that the event has not been scaled down or canceled since 2019.

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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