This is an annual festival held in Wakamiya Shrine, branch of Kasuga Grand Shrine. It is said that Tadamichi Fujiwara, Kampaku (Chief Advisor of Emperor), started this festival to pray for bumper crops on Sept.17 in the 2nd year of Hoen (1136) in the late Heian era.
In the past, monk soldiers of the Kofuku-ji Temple participated in the festival. However, because of the policy of separation between Shintoism and Buddhism in the Meiji era, the festival changed into one for the whole Nara. The date changed to December 17. On the festival day, Divine Spirit of Wakamiya is transferred to a small place called Otabisho, near the approach to Kasuga Grand Shrine. In the daytime you can see a parade of people wearing clothes of entertainment and martial arts, and feudal lords as well. At night you can see dedicatory entertainments such as Shinto music and dancing (Kagura), court dance and music (Bugaku), ritual music and dancing (Dengaku) and Seinoo until the Divine Spirit gets back to the shrine. These entertainments are designated as important intangible folk cultural assets.
From JR Nara or Kintetsu Nara Station to kasugataisha-omotesando by bus,
and 3 min. on foot
The 67th Annual Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures
This year marks the sixty-seventh time the Exhibition of
Shōsō-in Treasures announces the deepening of the Yamato autumn.
Shōsō-in treasures comprise some 9000 items passed down in the Shōsō-in
Repository, which was once a part of Tōdaiji temple. The majority of these
cherished treasures were made in the Nara Period (eighth century) and have no
comparable equivalent in the world. This exhibition presents a selection of
sixty-three of these precious treasures, of which twelve are being shown for the
Among those Shōsō-in treasures that once belonged to Emperor
Shōmu (701-756) and are listed in the Kokka chinpō chō (Record of
the Nation’s Rare Treasures), one of the Buddhist priest’s robes (J.
kesa, sk. kasaya) that head the list is on display. This
Seven-Panel Kesa of Brown Hand-Spun Silk is associated with the Indian
priest who first brought Esoteric Buddhism to China, Vajrabodhi (669-741, J.
Kongōchi). Also listed in the same Record are rare musical instruments made of
stone：a carved Stone Transverse Flute and a carved Stone Shakuhachi.
Supplementing these are instruments transmitted in Tōdaiji that invite you to
imagine the tunes of the Tempyō Era (mid eighth century), like a stunning Red
Sandalwood Biwa (Lute) with Small Flowers in Marquetry done in wood
mosaic on the back.
One focus of the display this year highlights items
related to the events taking place on the seventh day of the seventh month
(tanabata) when women wish for excellence in sewing arts. The brightly
colored threads and large ceremonial needles vividly relate the desires of the
people at that time. Shown for the first time in twenty-three years is a Red
Ivory Shaku Ruler Incised with Bachiru Decoration of Flowers,
Birds and Celestial Figures that is thought to have been used in ceremonies
where measuring sticks were offered to the imperial court. The celestial figures
carved on it appear in a form rarely seen among Shōsō-in treasures.
Additionally, rhinoceros horn rulers, wood rulers, and many other types of
rulers are showcased this year.
Furthermore, it is hoped that this
exhibition of Shōsō-in treasures will provide the opportunity to experience the
charm of a wide variety of items, like treasures incorporating animal hairs for
which recent research has overturned past theories and colorful treasures
Red Sandalwood Biwa (Lute) with Small Flowers in Marquetry (from the
October 24 (Sat.) ～ November 9 (Mon.), 2015
throughout the term.
Nara National Museum New East and West wings
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
*Note that the exhibition will be extended until 7:00 PM on Fridays,
Saturdays, Sundays and Holiday (November 3).
*Last admission is 30 minutes
before closing. See Exhibition Calendar
||Advance ticket / Group
|College/ High School Students
|Junior High/ Elementary School Students
* Group sales apply to parties of 20 people or more, led by
a group leader.
* Free of charge for persons with disability and the
* Advance Tickets can be purchased at below. Available
from September 9 (Wed.) to October 23 (Fri.).
Ticket counter of Nara
National Museum, Major stations of Kintetsu Railway, Kinki Nippon Tourist , JR
TOKAI TOURS , JTB, NIPPON TRAVEL AGENCY CO.,LTD , Ticket PIA [P-Code 767-044] ,
Lawson Ticket [L-Code 58500] , Seven-Eleven Ticket, Community Network Play Guide
* "Autumn Late" discount tickets are valid only
from one and a half hours before the closing time of the day.(You can purchase
the tickets from two and a half hours before the closing time at the ticket box
of Nara National Museum.)
* During the Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures, the
Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall and the Ritual Bronzes Gallery will be closed.
Uneme Matsuri(Festival for the Consolation of Uneme)
September 27 , 2015
| In the northwestern corner of the Sarusawa Pond is the Uneme Shrine with its back against its Torii gate. It is said that the shrine was constructed to console the soul of Uneme, who had drowned herself in the pond out of disappointment in love with an emperor. Since the shrine could not directly face the pond out of sadness caused by her suicide, it turned around overnight. Children and "Uneme" girls, who carry big flower fans decorated with the seven autumn flowers, start parading the streets in Nara City at 5:00p.m. A dragon-headed boat is floated on the Sarusawa Pond at 7:00 p.m., with the flower fan and its carriers on board. The boat goes around the pond and finally the fan is put down on the pond.
From Kintetsu Nara Station - 5 min. on foot.
TEL 0742-22-3900 AN-TORO (Ten-thousand Lantern Festival)
August 14 Friday 15 Saturday
| The lanterns, 3000 in number, have been dedicated by people including the Fujiwara family since 800 years ago. In the past, the lanterns were lit every night while oil stuff lasted. The special rite called Manto, literally Ten-thousand Lanterns, was sometimes held in order to pray for rain. Since the Meiji Era, all the lanterns have been lit twice a year: at Setsubun (the day for purification by throwing beans) on February 3 or 4, and on August 14 and 15. This event is called "Mantoro of Kasuga." The Man-toro began to be held to meet the spiritual need of the Meiji people who were unsatisfied with the fact that the lanterns were not lit every night any more because of the shortage of oil stuff at that time. The world of illusion appears on the shadows of lanterns mirrored in the Mitarai River along the corridor, and the shrine presents a lively scene with worshipers enjoying the event. Bugaku, or a court music and dance, is performed at Setsubun in February and August 14.
From JR Nara or Kintetsu Nara Station to kasugataisha-omotesando,
and 8 min. on foot.
DAIMONJI-OKURIBI (Great Bonfire Festival)
August 15 Saturday
|The event of Daimonji Bonfire in Nara started in the 35th year of Showa (1960). Today, along with the burning of the Wakakusa-yama Hill conducted on January 15, this fire event in summer for sightseeing shows a serene and austere atmosphere of an ancient capital to the world. A special ceremony is held in Tobihino at 6:00 p.m., and Mt. Takamado is set on fire at 8:00 p.m. The Chinese character "dai," meaning "great," symbolizes the universe. The event helps to enhance our pure mind with which we extinguish our 108 earthly desires and console the spirits of the dead. There are 108 fire grates arranged so that they can form the letter "dai" when seen from far. The first stroke of the letter "dai," which goes horizontally, is 109 meters in length; the second stroke, from the top to the left, 164 meters; and the third stroke from the center to the right, 128 meters.
From JR Nara or Kintetsu Nara Station - 15 min. on foot (Tobihino).
A beautiful and mystic musical theater lit up by bonfires in the evening darkness.
© Nara City Tourist AssociationTakigi O-Noh is a traditional Japanese musical drama performed on the open-air stage built on the lawn of Kofukuji Temple, which is registered as a World Heritage Site. The stage is made by placing large boards over the lawn, with bamboo poles set up and bound with rope, and the drama is performed amid the illumination of the bonfires which are set alight in early evening. Takigi Noh signifies 'a Noh traditional musical theater drama performed at a banquet held around a bonfire.' In the case of Kofukuji Temple, this is respectfully called Takigi O-Noh, the 'O' being an honorific prefix. Originally, such performances were carried out when sacred takigi (firewood) was delivered to the temple. Today, similar performances are also held in other towns, but this Bonfire Noh is believed to have originated in this temple in 869.
The Noh actors wear lacquer-coated wooden masks and are dressed in gorgeous costumes. Yet the actors never express emotions vocally. The music played by flutes and drums is also very simple and the theatrical stage is characterized by its mystical beauty. On the festival days, you can also see traditional comic drama which used to be performed during the intervals of the Noh. In contrast to the Noh which consists mainly of songs and dance, the traditional drama is performed by spoken lines and comical movements, often making the audience laugh.
If you wish to have a good look, we recommend that you arrive there early for a seat with a clear view. You can also reserve seats by buying either a 1-day ticket costing 3,500 yen or a 2-day ticket which costs 5,000 yen. For more information about tickets, please contact the Nara City Tourist Association.
On the same dates, Noh is also performed at the Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Kasugano-cho, Nara City. May 11th features a ceremony called Shushi Hashiri-no-Gi in the Maiden dance-hall and on May 12th, a ceremony known as Miyashiro Agari-no-Gi is staged in Wakamiya-jinja Shrine. The performance on the 12th is held on a smaller stage, which means that unless you take a seat near the stage, you might not be able to have a good view.
[Walk]5 minutes' walk from Nara Station on JR and Kintesu Line.
Place: Kofukuji Temple, Nara City
Dates: Third week on Friday and Saturday of May
Dates and functions are subject to change without notice. Be sure to check the latest information in advance.
City: Noborioji-cho, Nara City
Below is a list of Nara's most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing (hanami), including the typical timing for best viewing in the average year and japan-guide.com ratings. See also our nationwide list of famous cherry blossom spots.
|Nara Park Early April
| Starts a five minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station
| About 1700 cherry trees are planted across spacious Nara Park, outnumbering the deer by around 500. One of the most pleasant hanami spots in the park is a large lawn encircled by cherry trees, a short walk southeast of Todaiji's main hall.
|Heijo Palace Early April
| 15 minute walk from Yamato Saidaiji Station
| Quite a few cherry trees are planted on the large grounds of the former Heijo Palace, making for some pleasant picnic opportunities. Because the trees are quite exposed to the weather, they follow a blooming schedule which is typically a couple of days behind that of the trees in nearby Nara Park.
|Wakakusayama Early April
| 30-40 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station
150 yen, 9:00 to 17:00
|Wakakusayama is the grass covered hill behind Nara Park that gets lit on fire every January in the spectacular Yamayaki festival. Cherry trees are planted besides the hiking trail along the edge of Wakakusayama's main slope, allowing for some nice photos of cherry blossoms in combination with the city behind.
Ratings: best of the best best of Japan outstanding
Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.
Tourch Festival in Nigatsu-do ,Todaiji
This event goes back 1,000 years. Buddhist priests draw up healing waters and run about with huge pine torches.
Priests at Todai-ji Temple, famous for its enormous statue of Buddha, confess their sins before the Eleven-faced Kannon enshrined in Nigatsu-do Hall, and also pray for world peace and a rich harvest for 14 consecutive days. This ritual, called Shuni-e, has continued since 752.
During this period, an event known as Otaimatsu is really worth seeing. Priests run to and fro along the corridors of Nigatsu-do waving huge pine torches. It is believed that if you are showered with these fire sparks, you will be protected from evil things.
The Omizutori, the highlight of this event, is performed early on the morning of the 13th. Water which only springs forth in front of the temple building on this very day is drawn up and offered to the Buddhist deities. This water is said to have special powers for curing all disease.
This spring water is believed to reach Todai-ji after passing underground for more than 10 days from Obama City, Fukui Prefecture. Even today, the Omizuokuri ceremony is performed on March 2nd at Jingu-ji Temple in Fukui Prefecture to see off the departure of the divine water.
Water that has been drawn up is poured into a pot the following day, and to this pot they add water taken from a different pot which has been continuously replenished for over 1,200 years - the resulting mixture being preserved anew.
[Walk]5 minutes' walk from Daibutsuden Kasuga-Taisha-mae bus stop.Daibutsuden Kasuga-Taisha-mae bus stop is on the Shinai-Junkan Bus route from JR Kintetsu Nara Station.
Place: Todai-ji Temple
Dates: March 1st-14th
Dates and functions are subject to change without notice. Be sure to check the latest information in advance.
City: Zoshi-cho, Nara City
Naraiger, the Super Man of Nara, JAPAN
Once upon a time, the Hero of Yamato was born deep in the holy mountain forest of Kasuga.
As an eco fighter, he fought against the ambitions of the 'pollution empire' to pollute
the rich natural Yamato Nara environment and conquer the earth thus protecting beautiful Yamato Nara and the earth.
Littering, which causes environmental destruction and is a breach of social manners by self centered, selfish people, is intolerable.
The hero uses 2 horns known as hyper horns to listen to people's cries for help!
He also has “somen flash” and “shika sen flash” powers! However he needs to eat Radzukena which is a hyper food that he eats to recharge his strength and energy!
Littering shall not be tolerated!!!