Kansai Information

Grass-Burning Festival on Wakakusayama Hill in 2017

 Rising 342 meters above sea level, Wakakusayama is a hill overlooking the city of Nara. Every year on the fourth Saturday of January, the entire hill is burned up in the Yamayaki (Grass-Burning) Festival, a major event of Nara that heralds early spring. In this ages-old festival of uncertain origin, known nationwide as a special attraction of winter in Nara, Shintoists from Kasuga Taisha Shrine and Buddhists from Todai-ji Temple and Kohfuku-ji Temple unite to repose and console the souls of departed ancestors, appeal to the citizens for fire prevention, and pray for world peace. At around 5:45 p.m. on the day of the festival, a band of people in traditional costume will light large bamboo torches with a sacred fire at Kasuga-Taisha Shrine and carry them to the place for ignition. At 6:15 p.m., as many as 600 fireworks will be shot off to color the winter night sky. Then finally the hill will be set afire. The raging blaze will cover the entire area of 33 hectares, creating a dynamic yet fantastic view.

[Event summary]
 Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017 [Open free to the public, but some events require a charge.]
 (In the event of bad weather, the festival may be postponed to the next day.)

 Time:   5:45 p.m. The procession carrying the sacred fire departs from Tobihino field in the precincts
                                      of Kasuga-Taisha Shrine
     6:15 p.m. Grand display of fireworks
     6:30 p.m. Setting the hill on fire with all the torches at once

 Location: Wakakusayama Hill and other areas

 Access to the base of Wakakusayama Hill:
    From Kintetsu Nara Station or JR Nara Station, take the Nara City Loop-Line bus (clockwise),
    get off at Todaiji-Daibutsuden/Kasugataisha-mae, and walk approximately 15 minutes.

 Recommended viewing locations: Base of Wakakusayama Hill, Nara Park
 (Ukigumo-enchi area, Kasugano-enchi area),Heijo Palace Site

Organizer: Wakakusayamayaki Event Executive Committee

Procession of torch-bearers
Grand display of fireworks
Grass-burning on Wakakusayama
Contact : Wakakusayamayaki Event Executive Committee
Phone or E-mail +81-742-27-8677