Cultural in Nara


During this two-week festival in early March, the monks of Tōdai-ji parade huge flaming torches around the balcony of Nigatsu-dō and rain down embers on the spectators to purify them, in a nightly ceremony called Ot…
Cultural in Nara


The Lantern Festival involves the lighting of 3000 stone and bronze lanterns around Kasuga Taisha at 6pm one night in early February – it's impossibly atmospheric. A bugaku (dance piece played by court orchestras in…
Cultural in Nara


In early January (the day before Seijin-no-hi, or Coming-of-Age Day), the Grass Burning Festival commemorates a feud that was had many centuries ago between the monks of Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji: Wakakusa-yama is set …
Cultural in Nara


Those deer in Nara-kōen are pursued in a type of elegant rodeo into the Roku-en (deer enclosure) close to Kasuga Taisha on the second Saturday and Sunday of October and then again the following Monday. They are then…
Dance in Nara

Takigi Onō

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