Hitaki-sai Fire Festival 火焚祭

Summary

Three fires are lit during the Hitaki-sai Fire Festival at Fushimi Inari.

Gomagi fly high during the Hitaki-sai Fire Festival at Fushimi Inari.

The head shrine for more than 30,000 Inari Shrines around the country, Fushimi Inari attracts a great number of visitors from around Japan, and many come to Kyoto to participate in the Ōhitaki Fire Festival.

The first part of the ritual begins in the shrine's main hall with offerings of food, drink, and prayers, and priestesses perform a sacred kagura dance for the gods.  From there everyone moves to a clearing where three bonfires have been set up and are simultaneously lit.  When the smoke clears, priests begin throwing bundles of prayer sticks in to fires with large, dramatic tosses, scattering the wishes of shrine visitors into the fire.  A copy of the purification prayer is passed out in the crowd so that any attendee can join in on wishing for everyone’s good health and fortune, as well as the country’s prosperity.

The heat and flames provide a dramatic backdrop as priests undertake cleansing rituals in front of each fire using water, salt, and sakaki leaves, and sacred kagura dances are performed intermittently by priestesses carrying golden bells until the last prayer stick is tossed in to the fire.  Held in autumn, it's said that this ritual fire calls Inari to come back to the mountain from the fields to rest after harvest.

Things to See/Do

  • Kagura Dance

  • Kyōgen

  • Shinto Ritual

  • Fire Ritual

Schedule

November 8th, 13:00

Access

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Address

〒612-0882  京都市伏見区深草薮之内町68番地

TEL 075-41-7331
FAX 075-42-2153
WEB http://inari.jp/

Admission

  • General Admission: Free

Hours

  • General Admission: 09:00 – 17:00 (grounds open 24 hours)
  • Closed: No closing days

Transportation

  • From Kyoto Station ⇒ JR Line local train ⇒ Inari Station
  • By Keihan Line ⇒ Fushimi Inari Station ⇒ 10 minutes walking
  • By City Bus ⇒ Bus Route Number 南5 (South) ⇒ Fushimi Inari Taisha Bus Stop