The Kurama Fire Festival One of Kyoto's Three Eccentric Festivals
Not far from Shimogamo Shrine, in a town known as Kurama about 30 minutes by train from Demachiyanagi Station, a shinto ritual called the Kurama Fire Festival (Yuki-jinja Shrine Annual Festival) is held in October. As this festival is held at Yuki-jinja Shrine, it is recognized as one of Kyoto's Three Eccentric Festivals. On this day, bonfires are lit across the town of Kurama and people parade around with torches. The climax of the event is a parade of the mikoshi (portable shrine). The unique nature and impact of this festival has made it very popular among tourists.
The origin of the fire festival dates back to over 1000 years ago. With great earthquakes and conflicts frequent at the time, the emperor, concerned about growing public unrest, moved Yuki-jinja Shrine from Heian-Kyo (ancient Kyoto) to Kurama. The sight of those carrying the beacon fires and transferring the shrine deeply impressed the residents of Kurama, who have to this day continued the tradition of carrying the beacon fires and the mikoshi.
Another of Kyoto's Three Biggest Festivals, Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages), is held on the morning of the same day. Many tourists attend Jidai Matsuri first in the morning, followed by the Kurama Fire Festival（Yuki-jinja Shrine Annual Festival）later on; however, please be aware that both are famous festivals so expect them to be crowded.
Held only once every year, this sacred fire festival is sure to impress. We highly recommend you to visit there!