A mysterious floating lantern event in Arashiyama where the lanterns carry prayers
Arashiyama Toro Nagashi is a lantern floating event that takes place every year in during Obon, a time when it is believed that the spirits of ancestors come back to this world, on August 16. This lantern floating event was started in year 24 of the Showa period, in 1949，in order to appease the spirits of the people who died in the war. Now the event is held as a memorial service for ancestors’ spirits, and every year the lanterns carrying prayers are floated on the Katsura River. On the same day, one of the most famous summer events in Kyoto, Gozan-no-Okuribi, is also held, and you can see the burning Chinese characters on the mountains also by the Katsura River. This is one reason why many of the locals go see this event every year, and also a reason why many tourists also go see it. The sight of the many lanterns floating on the river in the twilight is mysterious.