Cultural in Nara


Though the origins of this festival are unclear (it's possibly a nod to a long-ago feud between the monks of Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji), Nara's three big religious institutions, Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji and Kasuga...

Cultural in Nara

Shuni-e Ceremony

During this fire festival the monks of Tōdai-ji parade huge, flaming torches around the balcony of Nigatsu-dō for 10 nights straight, raining embers on spectators to purify them. On the following day they draw...

Cultural in Nara


On 3 February, also known as Setsubun (the first day of spring on the old lunar calendar), Kasuga Taisha lights each and every one of its 3000 stone and bronze lanterns – it's unbelievably atmospheric. The...

Cultural in Nara


Nara-kōen's deer are pursued in a type of rodeo into the Roku-en (deer enclosure) close to Kasuga Taisha, where they are wrestled to the ground and their antlers sawn off. Tourist brochures suggest that this is...

Dance in Nara

Takigi Nō

Open-air performances of nō (stylised dance-drama) are held after dark by the light of blazing torches at Kōfuku-ji (on the third Friday of May) and Kasuga Taisha (on the third Friday and Saturday of May).