The Parade of Sacred Fire

 

山上古墳

During this event, the gods and deities of Kasugataisha Shrine, Todaiji Temple and Kohfukuji Temple join together at Mt. Wakakusa, a symbol of Nara, and pray with people for the repose of the dead, fire prevention in all areas of Nara, and for world peace.

Information of the Parade

Led by the sound of conch horns played by the mountain priests of Kinpusenji Temple, more than 40 people – in the traditional costumes of representatives of Kasugataisha Shrine, Todaiji Temple and Kohfukuji Temple, and officials of Nara Magistrate’s Office from the Edo period – parade solemnly through the park.
[Order of the parade] Court Musicians – Warrior Monks – Officials of Nara Magistrate’s Office – Conch Horn Players – Representatives of Kohfukuji Temple, Todaiji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine

Route and Timetable of the Parade

16:45 The Sacred Fire Acceptance Ceremony (Gojinkahotaisai) is held at Tobihino Park, Great Tondo bonfire venue

In this ceremony, held in Kasugataisha Shrine’s Tobihino Park, the sacred fire is transferred from the Great Tondo bonfire by lighting torches.

17:05 Departure of the Sacred Fire Parade from Tobihino Park
The parade carries the sacred fire from Tobihino Park to Nogami Shrine.
17:15 Firing of torches at Mizuya Shrine
The sacred fire carried from Kasugataisha Shrine is transferred to a number of torches at the ceremony place located near to Mizuya Shrine.
17:40 Fire Ceremony at Nogami Shrine, at the base of Mt. Wakakusa

TThe sacred fire is transferred to make a bonfire at Nogami Shrine.

At first, the parade prays for the safety of Yamayaki.

Then, while priests chant sutras of Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple and Kinpusenji Temple, the fire is transferred from the bonfire back to torches again, and the parade moves toward the great bonfire in the center of the mountain base.

18:15 Making The Great Bonfire
The parade makes the great bonfire in the center of the mountain base.

Fire Ceremony in Nogami Shrine (Mt. Wakakusa Base)
The sacred fire is transferred to make a bonfire in Nogami Shrine.
At first, the parade prays for safety of Yamayaki.
Then, while priests chant sutras of Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple and Kinpusenji Temple, the fire is transferred from the bone fire to torches again, and the parade move toward the great bonfire in the center of the mountain base.

Route of the Parade

聖火行列ルート図

Story – The Fire of Great Tondo

sacred energy and blessings of the deities. In particular, fire used in traditional events such as Tondo and fire festivals was called Gojinka (sacred fire), and was treated as something pure. You may see people praying for sound health in front of the Tondo; they are trying to receive the power of the gods through the flames of the Tondo.

 

< Great Tondo in Kasugataisha Shrine > From around 13:00 to 18:00 on the 4th Saturday in every January

In Kasugataisha Shrine’s Tobihino Park, a bonfire furnace (5m long x 5m wide, and 3m high) is placed to burn old amulets, talismans and sacred straw ropes delivered to the shrine.

* For further information, please contact to Kasugataisha Shrine (Tel: 0742-22-7788) or Nara City Tourist Association (Tel: 0742-27-2223)