Festivals & Events
At New Year's, devotees descend on Kyoto's Yasaka Jinja to attend the late-night festival known as Okerasai. Medicinal herbs are set ablaze, and the negative energies of the previous year are swept away to bring in new good fortune.
You can get to Okerasai by bus, underground, taxi or on foot.
Okerasai takes place at Yasaka Jinja, which is easy to access by public transportation. However, since this festival takes place from late on New Year's Eve to New Year's Day, public transportation may not be available for the duration.
The iconic fires of Okera-Mairi are lit with a medicinal herb, and are said to remove the evil energy of the previous year.
For those who want to further improve their fortune, it is possible to take the flames home. In order to keep the fire alight at the end of the lit bamboo rope, it must be constantly swung around. The sight of ropes burning through the darkness will be an unforgettable start to a new year.