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Matsu-age Torch Lightings in Hanase

Matsu-age Torch Lightings are a series of countryside fire festivals passed down in mountain villages.
The practice of throwing “tai-matsu” torches high into the air is a tradition from long ago in the Rakuhoku area of northern Kyoto, and gives the event its name of “matsu-age” (literally, to “raise up pine”).
This fire festival, both rustic and grand, is meant to see off the spirits of the departed who have returned to the world of the living during the Obon Festival.

During this festival, nearly 1,000 torches set into a dry riverbed will be set alight simultaneously. These torches will then be flung towards a 20-meter-tall torch to set it aflame. It’s quite a sight to watch the local men throwing their torches, competing to set fire to the torchlight! The climax of the fire festival comes when the great torch is brought down in flames. These fire lightings are practiced in the mountain villages of northern Kyoto in dedicated to the god Atago, and performed to pray for abundant crops, and to ward off fire. Visitors are welcome to watch. Visitors may also come via personal car.

Date & Time

August 15 (Thu), 2019
Beginning at 9:00 p.m.
Event will continue in the event of light rain.

*Cancelled on 8/15, expected to be extended until 8/16


From Demachiyanagi, take the Kyoto Bus heading towards Hirogawara (approximately 90 minutes) to “Hanase Koryu no Mori” (the Hanase Exchange Forest) (Attendees will not be able to make a return trip during the same day with the regular bus route)


Traditional Festivals