Event Calendar

Shunie (Omizutori)

(Nara :Annual Events)

Shunie (Omizutori)

This ritual was started in 752 as an anga (ascetic practice) to repent our misdeeds to the Eleven-faced Kannon, or the principal image of Nigatsudo hall of Todaiji Temple.

It heralds the spring in Kansai region, and is known as Omizutori(water-drawing ceremony) or Otaimatsu(torches).

The names comes from the events held during the ritual period. At midnight on March 12, sacred water is drawn and offered for the principal image of the temple. Omizutori comes from this event.

Also, Otaimatsu or torches are used to lead the Rengyoshu (priests partaking in the Shunie) to Nigatsudo hall. Torches are lit upon the signal of the ringing of the large bell at 7:00 in the evening everyday during the period.

The torches are swung from the veranda of Nigatsudo hall, scattering a beautiful and dramatic shower of flames over the crowds.
Date(s) March 1st to 14th
Place Todaiji temple
Access Five minutes walk from Daibutsuden Kasuga Taisha-mae bus stop, which can be reached from Nara Station on the JR or Kintetsu Line by municipal circulation bus.

Shunie (Omizutori) Neighborhood map

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