Sanctuary holds fire festival, “Oto Matsuri”, on Mount Kamikura

The stone-paved mountain path to the Kamikura Shrine was turned into a river of fire on the cold night of February 6, when hordes of people carrying torches flowed over the mountain screaming and shouting, as part of the “Oto Matsuri” fire festival.

The shrine on Mount Kamikura, in western Japan, is a branch of Kumano Hayatama Taisha, a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in the city, and the festival, which is believed to have started more than 1.400 years ago, is an important national intangible popular culture called Treasury.

On the day, people wearing traditional white costumes gathered around the giant rock of “Gotobiki”, an object of worship on Mount Kamikura. A gate was opened just before 20 pm. and the participants holding burning torches descended the 538 stone steps of the mountain path, shouting all the way.

Source: Mainichi // Image credits: Mainichi / Yohei Koide

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