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Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture’s Todai-ji – Nigatsu-do Shuni-e

First held in the year 752, this event has been held every year without fail for over 1260 years!
Held by the temple’s monks in front of Nigatsu-do’s figure of the Eleven-Headed Kannon, the temple’s idol, the event exists to repent for the everyday sins of humanity and wish for everyone’s happiness.
This tradition is so old and familiar to the people of Nara that it is said that spring comes to Nara after Shuni-e ends.

Nara, Wakakusa Yamayaki

The Wakakusa Yamayaki is an event where the 342-meter-high Mt. Wakakusa that overlooks Nara City is lit on fire.
This is a Shinto ritual meant to calm the spirits inhabiting the keyhole-shaped tumulus on the mountain’s summit.
After around 600 fireworks are launched, 33 hectares of grasslands on the mountain are set aflame.
The dynamic scene that unfolds is almost like watching a forest fire. The winter night sky is dyed red, and the view of the entirety of the mountain lit up is magnificent.