Hitakisai (Bonfire Festival)

In November there will be various forms of Hitakisai (bonfire festivals) at shrines througout Kyoto. It is a kind of Niiname-Sai to appreciate the year’s harvest and send the gods they welcomed in spring back to the mountain in autumn, while also signifying the casting away of bad luck and Kamado Barai (spiritually cleansing the cooking space). The festival of Fushimi Inari Taisha is the most notable, as well as the largest in Japan in terms of spectacle. Hundreds of thousands of Hitakigushi (wooden fortune sticks) from across the nation are burned in flames that reach the sky, making for an astonishing sight. In the late afternoon there will be a traditional Ninjomai dance ritual. The shape of the hearth and the Kagura (a Shinto theatrical dance) and prayer events are unique to each shrine. Baked oranges that are said be a medicine against colds, porridge from freshly harvested rice and Omiki (ritual sake) as well as food for the honouring of the gods may be distributed as well…Kyoto, where Misogi (ablution) and Harae (purification) happen throughout the year while becoming a constant feature of life, will be cleansing itself day by day as we head towards December.

Editorial Team


Hitakisai (Bonfire Festival)

This is a shrine ritual held at various shrines in Kyoto city to pray for the productiveness of grain and to appreciate the harvesting over the past year.

Major Hitakisai
November 7 Kifune Shrine(Kurama, Sakyo-ku)
November 8 Fushimi Inari Taisha (Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku)
November 14 Imahie Jingu (Myohoin, Higashiyama-ku)
November 22 Koryuzi (Uzumasa, Ukyoku)
November 23 Kurumazaki Jinja (Saga, Ukyo-ku)

November 5 Fujinomori Shrine (Fushimi-ku)
November 12 Hanayama Inari Jinja (Yamashina-ku)
Novemebr 15 Gokonomiya Jinja (Fushimi-ku)
November 16 Ebisu Jinja (Higashiyama-ku)
November 20 Jonangu (Fushimi-ku)
November 23 Hiraoka Hachimangu (Ukyo-ku), Takeisao Jinja (Kita-ku)
and more


(Please refer to  e-KYOTO


Place Option
November 8 at Fushimi Inari Taisha