A Shinto ritual of sending holy water connecting Obama City and Nara since ancient times
The Omizu-Okuri (Water Sending) is held every March 2 at Jinguji Temple in Obama City as a preparatory ritual for the Omizu-Tori (Water Receiving) held on March 12 at Todaiji Temple’s Nigatsudo in Nara. These two Shinto rituals show that Nara and the Wakasa region have had a deep relationship for a long time. Omizu-Tori is a famous event that announces the arrival of spring in Kansai, and it is said that the holy water released in a river near Unose reaches the Wakasa Well in Nigatsudo over 10 days. The Omizu-Okuri starts at 11:00am with the Yamahachi ritual. At 1:00pm, the Yumiuchi archery ritual is held, followed at 6:00pm by the Shuni-e and at 6:30 pm by the Dattan, where a huge 7-meter torch is waved. From 7:30 pm starts a 2km torch procession toward Unose, where the Oogoma fire ritual is held. At 8:30pm the chief priest reads out the Sosuimon prayer, dispels evil spirits, and releases the holy water into the Onyu River. Citizens and tourists can purchase a hand torch and participate in the torch procession.