Nagoshi no Harae夏越の祓

Summary

The ring of purification during the Nagoshi no Harae at Heian shrine.

Traditionally performed on the last day of the 6th month, the Nagoshi no Harae ritual ("Purification Ritual of Summer's Passing") allows people to cleanse themselves of misdeeds committed in the first half of the year and to pray for the latter half yet to come.

Chinowa ring during the Nagoshi no Harae at Kitano Tenmangū shrine.

In order to participate you can join in on June 30th when the priest of a shrine leads a large crowd in the practice, or you can try it by yourself. Bow, pass through the ring and circle back to the front from the left, pass through again to the right, then pass through one last time while reflecting on your year.

One explanation for the origin of this ritual comes from an ancient Japanese legend that tells the story of the wandering god Susano'o no Mikoto. One Somin Shōrai, despite being poor, showed the disguised god Susano'o every luxury he could afford when asked for a place to stay the night. In return, Susano'o gave Somin a ring woven from reeds and instructed him to wear it, which then allowed Somin and his descendants to escape plague and illness. Because of this, passing through the large Nagoshi no Harae reed ring is believed to ward off disaster and misfortune.

The seasonal sweet minazuki, a type of steamed cake topped with azuki beans, is often sold during the ritual period.  Many shrines hold purification rituals on this day, but in Kyoto some of the more famous are listed below.

06/25 – 06/30 Kitano Tenmangu

Kitano Tenmangu is the shrine with the largest chinowa, standing at 5 m tall at the shrine gate.  The ceremony is celebrated from 4 pm on the 30th.

06/25 – 06/30 Kifune Shrine

The ceremony begins from 3 pm on the 30th.

06/30 Nonomiya Shrine

A chinowa is set up against Nonomiya’s rare torii gate and the ceremony begins from 3 pm.

06/30 Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine is one of the shrines that in addition to performing the chinowa ritual also hands out paper dolls to parishioners to then float down the river.  Chinowa activities begin at 10 am, and the paper dolls are floated at 8 pm.

Things to See/Do

  • Festival Food

  • Shinto Ritual

  • Charm

Access

Kitano Tenmangū

Address

〒602-8386 京都府京都市 上京区馬喰町

TEL 075-461-0005
FAX 075-461-6556
WEB http://www.kitanotenmangu.or.jp/top_en.php

Admission

  • General Admission: Free
  • Treasure Hall:
  • General Admission: ¥300
  • Junior High School, High School: ¥250
  • Primary School: ¥150

Hours

  • General Admission: 09:00 – 17:00 (07:00 – 21:00 on the 25th each month)
  • Closed: No closing days

Transportation

  • From Kyoto Station City Bus Route 50 or 101 ⇒ Kitano Tenmangū-mae Bus Stop
  • From Demachiyanagi Station City Bus Route 203 ⇒ Kitano Tenmangū-mae Bus Stop
  • From Kitano Hakubaichō Station ⇒ 10 minutes walking

Kifune Shrine

Address

〒601-1112 左京区鞍馬貴船町180

TEL 075-741-2016
FAX 075-741-3596
WEB http://kifunejinja.jp/

Admission

  • General Admission: Free

Hours

  • Office Hours: 09:00 – 16:30 (subject to seasonal change)
  • Closed: No closing days

Transportation

  • By Eizan Train Line ⇒ Ride towards Kurama ⇒ Kibuneguchi Station ⇒ Kyoto Bus Route 33 ⇒ Kibune Bus Stop ⇒ 5 minutes walking
  • By Keihan Train Line ⇒ Demachiyanagi Station Eizan Train Line towards Kurama ⇒ Kibuneguchi Station ⇒ Kyoto Bus Route 33 ⇒ Kibune Bus Stop ⇒ 5 minutes walking
  • By Karasuma Subway Line ⇒ Kokusaikaikan Station ⇒ Kyoto Bus Route 52 ⇒ Kibuneguchi Bus Stop ⇒ Kyoto Bus Route 33 from Kibuneguchi Train Station ⇒ Kibune Bus Stop ⇒ 5 minutes walking

Nonomiya Jinja

Address

〒616-8393 京都市右京区嵯峨野宮町1

TEL 075-871-1972
FAX 075-871-0796
WEB http://www.nonomiya.com/eng.html

Admission

  • General Admission: Free

Hours

  • General Admission: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Closed: No closing days

Transportation

  • From Keifuku Dentetsu Arashiyama Line ⇒ Arashiyama Station ⇒ Walk 5 minutes to Tenryū-ji
  • From JR Sagano Line ⇒ Saga Arashiyama Station ⇒ Walk 13 minutes to Tenryū-ji
  • From Hankyū Line ⇒ Arashiyama Station ⇒ Walk 15 minutes to Tenryū-ji
  • By City Bus Route 11, 28, or 93 ⇒ Arashiyama Tenryū-ji-mae Bus Stop
  • By Kyoto Bus Route 61, 72, or 83 ⇒ Arashiyama Tenryū-ji-mae Bus Stop

Kamigamo Jinja

Address

〒603-8047 京都府京都市北区上賀茂本山339

TEL 075-781-0011
FAX 075-702-6618
WEB http://www.kamigamojinja.jp/english/index.html

Admission

  • General Admission: Free

Hours

  • General Admission: 08:30 – 17:00
  • Closed: No closing days

Transportation