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Mt. Horaiji Maple Festival

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Mt. Horaiji Maple Festival


Experience glorious autumn scenery, traditional local events, and even firewalking at this temple mountain festival

Shinshiro City, Aichi Prefecture



The Maple Festival on Mt. Horaiji in Aichi Prefecture takes place from November to early December, at the height of the spiritually significant mountain’s renowned autumnal colors. It celebrates the stunning maple foliage, the deities enshrined in Horaiji Temple and neighboring Toshogu Shrine, and the mountain itself. The festival features a number of events and the unique cultural combination of both the temple and the shrine holding autumn ceremonies on the same day.

The natural beauty and views of Mt. Horaiji have always made it a popular destination, and this festival was started to highlight and celebrate the time when the maple trees are at their peak. First used for spiritual practice by the hermit monk Rishu, the entire mountain formally became a temple in 703 thanks to an emperor whose illness had been healed by Rishu’s prayers. The mountain’s connection to Rishu’s ascetic spirituality has preserved traditions like firewalking on a special day once a year when temple monks, ascetic practitioners, local residents, and even visitors walk across hot coals to demonstrate their spiritual focus.

The best time to experience the cultural heritage and scenery of Mt. Horaiji is while its forests are a fiery red. The Maple Festival is a perfect time for hiking too, and—if you’re looking for a challenge—for firewalking.


How to get there


From Toyohashi Station (on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, about 30 minutes from Nagoya), take the Iida Line to Hon-Nagashino Station, then transfer to a local bus to the Horaiji bus stop, located right in front of the temple.


1 Horaiji Kadoya, Shinshiro-shi, Aichi-ken


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