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Koyasan Candle Festival 萬燈供養会

Koyasan Candle Festival Koyasan Candle Festival
Koyasan Candle Festival Koyasan Candle Festival

Photo credit: Wakayama Tourism Federation

Let there be light at the Koyasan Candle Festival

On August 13 the walk up to sacred Okunoin Temple on Koyasan is illuminated by the flickering flames of around 100,000 candles. Wander the two-kilometer pathway, lit up on both sides, and join those coming to pay their respects in memorial of the souls that inhabit the grounds.

How to Get There

The nearest major transport hub to reach the temple is Nankai Koyasan Station. From Osaka , take the Nankai Koya Line from Namba to Gokurakubashi, then change to a cable car to Nankai Koyasan Station.

From Nankai Koyasan Station, take the Nankai Rinkan Bus and get off at Okunoin-guchi.

Of sacred significance

August in Japan signals Obon, the Japanese tradition of paying respects to ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. Welcoming fires, known as mukaebi, are lit in front of houses to guide these ancestral spirits back home. The softly glowing candles at the Koyasan Candle Festival are in effect the okuribi directing the souls back to where they reside.

Visiting Okunoin during the Koyasan Candle Festival is akin to taking a step into a different spiritual sphere. From 7:00 p.m. onwards, candles are lit at the Ichinohashi Bridge, the entrance to the sacred area, and then for the next 2,000 meters. A ceremony is held at Torodo Hall at 8:00 p.m.

The latest information may differ, so please check the official website.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

Recommended for You

The Okunoin Area
Staying Overnight at a Koyasan Temple
Koyasan Shukubo (Temple Lodgings)
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