The Yomiuri ShimbunKYOTO — About 500 pine torches light up the night sky halfway up Mt. Kurama in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, on Oct. 22.
The Kurama Fire Festival attracts many visitors and is held at Yuki Shrine, Kurama Temple’s tutelary shrine. The festival is derived from a historical event in 940 when a deity enshrined at the Imperial Palace in Kyoto was transferred to Kurama. People welcomed the deity by lighting pine torches.
On Oct. 22 after sunset, parishioners holding torches paraded through the town and ignited torches placed in front of homes. At about 9 p.m., people holding large torches weighing about 100 kilograms gathered at the main gate of Kurama Temple. Upon the signal shout of “Saireiya, sairyo,” people wearing traditional loincloths lifted the torches together, setting the night sky aglow. [Released on Oct. 24, 2016]