03 Aug 2018 in Discover Japan
Staying in Nikko or Kinugawa this summer? Find the right festival for you!
And during your stay, have some fun at local festivals!
Mt. Nantai Worship Climbing Festival
Feeling energetic? Then this festival is for you! From July 31 to August 7, people come from all over to climb Mt. Nantai, a luscious green volcano that is also a holy Shinto site.
Your reward for reaching the 8156-ft summit? An omamori lucky charm, an official certificate, and a sprinkling of shrine-blessed water.
This one’s all about praying in the middle of a lake! It’s inspired by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who founded Nikko and had a penchant for praying in a boat on a sacred spot in Lake Chuzenji.
To recreate Shodo Shonin’s ritual, make sure you book ahead for a boat.
Onsen-ji Yakushido Ritual Bonfire
Every August 8, a large bonfire is lit by priests at Onsenji Temple in the Nikko Renzan mountains. It’s all in honour of Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of healing.
Unusually, the setting is the temple’s own hot spring onsen, where visitors are allowed to bathe!
Celebrating its 50th edition, this festival focuses on safe travels and prosperity, and is held at both the Kinugawa and Kawaji onsens.
The main procession features floats decorated with paper lanterns and women carrying traditional sake barrels. A final firework show ensures proceedings end with a bang.