An exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of the opening of the museum “The World of Beauty – 100 Years of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art” is being held at Nara Prefectural Museum of Art. Among the modern and contemporary art works stored by the museum, about 120 masterpieces of Japanese pictures, prints and designs are exhibited.
Admissions are free for international tourists by presenting a passport, and for international students by presenting the “Free Admission Pass” issued by Nara Prefecture International Citizens Support Center and a student ID. Please visit and enjoy the art.
Exhibition period: January 25 (Sat.) to March 9 (Sun.) Closed on Mondays
Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Reception closes at 4:30 pm.)
休 館 日：毎週月曜日
The Nara Omizutori Festival (Water Ceremony)
Omizutori is an annual Buddhist festival held from March 1 -14 in Nigatsu-do, Todaiji Temple in Nara Park.
Each night of the festival large torches are lit outside Nigatsudo hall at Tōdai-ji temple in a specular fire show. It's a brave thing to do — Nigatsudo hall is made completely of wood.
The event has been held for 1260 years (since 752). It is one of Japan's oldest festivals.
March 1 - 11thEach night from March 1st - 11th (19:00 start) giant torches are lit at Nigatsudo hall. They're held up so that embers rain down. Viewing this fire display is thought to bring luck and safety to the audience. It lasts about 20 minutes.
March 12thOn March 12th (19:30 start) the fire show gets bigger. Large 8 meter (26 foot) torches are lit that burn for 40 minutes. A large crowd attends. The crowd is put into a queue that shuffles past the fire display. This way each person can see the display for 5 minutes or so.
The peak of the festival is after midnight when 11 special priests called the Renhyoshu draw water from the temple well between 1:30 and 2:30 AM. It's said that the well is dry the rest of the year.
The well was a gift from a god. The founder of the temple invited 13,700 gods to a ceremony. Onyu-myojin (one of the gods) was late for the ceremony. He had been out fishing. To make up for being late, he made water spring from the ground in front of the temple once a year.
The water from the well is said to have the power to heal and absolve people of their sins.
The water is used in the Dattan — a mysterious ceremony inside Nigatsudo hall. The ceremony is closed to the public and ends around 3:30 AM. Many spectators remain outside Nigatsudo for the ceremony . The priests use torches inside the hall for the ceremony and the building glows. The sound of horns and bells can be heard.
March 13thThere's a fire display on March 13th (19:00 start). It's much the same as the March 1st - 11th ceremonies.
March 14thThe fire display is shorter but more spectacular on the 14th (18:30 start). It only lasts around 5 minutes.