Fushimi Inari Shrine is shrouded in mysterious vermillion light during the Motomiya Festival
In July, on the following Sunday or national holiday after the Day of the Ox, the Motomiya Festival is held at Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari-taisha). On the day of the festival, people from all over Japan from the sub-shrines of Inari Okami come to the head shrine of Fushimi Inari to express gratitude for the divine blessing of Inari. Also, on the day before the Motomiya Festival, there is a festival called Yoimiya, in which the stone and paper lanterns of the shrine are lit at night. On both festivals, the thousands of lanterns at the shrine are lit up at night, and the shrine is engulfed in mysterious red light. There are not many night illumination events at Fushimi Inari; in fact, these the two days of this festival are the only two days the shrine is illuminated at night!
Ritual of a thousand lanterns
On the day of the Yoimiya Festival, in the ritual of a thousand lanterns, a priest of the shrine lights up the first lantern, and then the worshippers and people who have just come to see the festival all start lighting up the other lanterns. After all the lanterns are lit, and the sun goes down, the main shrine of Fushimi Inari is bathed in red light glowing off the stone and paper lanterns.
Paintings on lantern paper
On both days of the festival, there are paintings by Japanese painters in Japanese and western style, and other artists on the Gehaiden hall illuminated by lanterns. There are over 400 paintings you can freely look at.
On both days of the festival, from 7 p.m. there is a Motomiya dance in front of the Sanshuden hall of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Anyone can freely take part in the Motomiya dance.
Taiko drum performance
In the afternoon on both days of the festival, there is a Japanese taiko drum performance devoted to the gods by the students of the universities of Kyoto. The way the players all play in sync is something magical. How about waiting for the sunset while listening to the beating of taiko drums?
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Motomiya Festival / 本宮祭
|Address||68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto city, 612-0882|
|Directions||Right by JR Nara line Inari Station.|
|Event time||Yoimiya Festival: 9:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. (The rituals start from 6 p.m.) Motomiya Festival: 9:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. (The rituals start from 9 a.m.)|
|Cancellations||Canceled in case of severe weather conditions.|
Many foreign tourists go see this ritual, and it is easy to enjoy it just by looking, so this is a festival that is easy to go to.
|Information||Japanese, English, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Korean.|
|Lanuages spoken||Only Japanese.|