Late
Jan
 2021

Wakakusa Yamayaki

12:00pm – 8:00pm
Free

One of the most impressive sights in Japan this January, the Wasakusa Yamayaki sees the entire mountainside go up in flames as fireworks are launched behind it. Although its origins are unclear, possible explanations include disputes about boundary lines between temples, attempts to scrae away boars and even ghosts. So, on the fourth Saturday of January each year, the ceremony takes place and has become one of the biggest attractions in Kansai. All three of the city’s primary shrines play a part (Todaiji, Kofukuji and Kasuga).

You can enjoy festivities from 12pm, with food stalls and performances as well as senbei throwing contest taking place around the base of the mountain. A procession leaves the park at 5pm, lighting their torches at Mizuya shrine and arriving at the base of the mountain by 5.30pm. Here, a bonfire is lit before fireworks are released (just after 6pm) and the fire from the bonfire is used to light the mountainside. It tends to only take an hour or so for the mountain side to burn although it may take a little longer in wet weather. The park is the best spot to admire the display, but following crowds is a good idea too!

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Sat, Dec
    12

    Worldwide Eisa Festival

    Cancelled

    Dance, they say, like nobody is watching. If that’s not your jam, go watch somebody else dance instead. Head down to Naha in Okinawa and experience the Worldwide Eisa Festival. This dance extravaganza is a showcase competition for eisa groups […]

    11:00am – 6:30pm
    ¥1,500 – ¥2,000
  • Mid
    Dec

    Sake Spring Kyoto 2020

    Postponed

    As a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19, this event has been postponed until December (potentially) with specific dates yet to be announced. Approximately 50 sake brewers from around Japan will be serving 150 different varieties of nihonshu along […]

    11:00am – 6:00pm
    ¥3,500 (advance sales)¥4,000 (on the door)
  • Early
    ~
    Mid
    Dec

    Kobe Luminarie 2020

    Cancelled

    Kobe Luminarie is an annual winter light-up held in memory of the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Now running for over 20 years, the event takes place in the vicinity of Motomachi Station on the JR Kobe […]

    Free
  • Dec 15
    ~
    Dec 18

    Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

    This festival in Nara prefecture traces its origin back to the 12th century. The name comes from the Wakamiya Shrine – a shrine within the ground of the larger Kasuga Taisha Shrine. This event is really a combination of different […]

    Free

Recommended hotels located nearby