Monday, July 4, 2011

Fireworks Pickups! (2011)

Expect crowds, traffic jam, summer heat and beautiful fireworks! There are more fireworks festivals than listed below.

Mie: The 59th Fireworks Competition Dedicated to Ise Jingu Shrine
July 16(sat) 19:25-around 21:15
(Postponed to 17th if weather is stormy)
@Riverbank of Miyagawa River near Watarai Bridge (upper stream side) (10min ride on a shuttle bus from Kintetsu Ujiyamada Station/JR Iseshi Station)
*Shuttle buses from the stations to the competition ground run 17:00~19:30, from the competition ground to the stations run from 20:00 to 30min after fireworks are finished. Runs every 15-20min. Fare: 180yen/person
ca. 9000 fireworks

Osaka: Fireworks Dedicated to Tenjin Matsuri Festival
July 25(mon) around 19:00-21:00
(Cancelled if rains)
@Ohkawa area in Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Sakuranomiya Park ground
ca. 3000 fireworks
Nara: Fireworks Dedicated to the 55th Onpara Matsuri Festival
July 31(sun) 19:30-20:10
(Go rain or shine; cancelled if weather is stormy)
@Shiba Undo Koen Park (15min walk from JR Miwa Station; walk towards west from the station)
ca. 2000 fireworks

Nara: Uda-city Haibara Fireworks Festival
August 4(thu) 19:30-21:00
(Postponed to 5th if weather is stormy)
@Udagawa River riverbank (3min walk from Kintetsu Haibara Station)
ca. 3000 fireworks

Osaka: The 23rd Naniwa Yodo River Fireworks Festival
August 6(sat) 19:50-20:40
(Go rain or shine; postponed to 7th if weather is stormy)
@Yodo River riverbank (between Shin Midosuji Yodogawa railway bridge and National Highway Route 2)

Kobe: The 41st Minato Kobe Fireworks Festival
August 6(sat) 19:40-20:30
(Go rain or shine; cancelled if weather is stormy)
@Meriken Park
ca. 10,000 fireworks
Website(This is a link to last year’s website. Date and Time are wrong, but Map, Transportation and Inquiry parts are useful.)
 Shiga: 2011 Lake Biwa Fireworks Festival
August 8(mon) 19:30-20:30
(Go rain or shine; postponed to 11th if weather is stormy)
@Otsu Port, Lake Biwa(5min walk from Keihan Hamaotsu Station, 15min walk from JR Otsu Station) (Access to Otsu Port)
ca. 10,000 fireworks
Website (Jpn Only)

Kyoto: The 51st Uji River Fireworks Festival
August 10(wed) 19:45-20:45
(Go rain or shine; postponed to 13th if weather is stormy)
@Uji Bridge area (10min walk from JR/Keihan Uji Station)
ca. 5000 fireworks
Website (Jpn Only)

Nara: The 40th Yoshino River Fireworks Festival
August 15(mon) 20:00-21:00
(Go rain or shine; cancelled if weather is stormy)
@Riverbank of Yoshino River, near Ookawa Bridge (upper stream side) (10min walk from JR Gojo Station)
ca. 4000 fireworks

-NARAWALK guide  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Events around Nara Park (July 2011)

Around Nara Park:
July 5(tue) Priest Chogen Commemorative Ceremony (Syunjyo-ki) and Special Viewing of a Hidden Statue
@Todaiji Temple, Syunjo-do Hall (near the Great Bell)
Chogen is a Buddhist priest who made a great contribution in repairing Great Buddha and reconstructing Great Buddha Hall in late 12th century.
8:00 ~ Commemorative Ceremony
After the ceremony (around 11:00)~16:00 Special Viewing of a Hidden Statue (*Seated Statue of Chogen, National Treasure, 13th century This statue is open to the public twice a year on July 5 and Dec. 16 annualy.)

July 7(thu) Ritual Ceremony for Benzaiten (Benzaiten-ku) and Special Opening of Three-storied Pagoda
@Kofukuji Temple, Three-storied Pagoda
Benzaiten was originally an Indian goddess of river Sarasvati. In Japan, she is known as a goddess of wisdom, music and fortune. Buddhist priests at Kofukuji Temple used to worship Benzaiten wishing for progress in their Buddhist studies. Benzaiten statue is enshrined in Three-storied Pagoda (National Treasure, around early 13th century).
10:00 ~ Ritual Ceremony
9:00 ~ 16:00 Pagoda is open for the public viewing. This is an annual, once a year opening day. You can see Benzaiten statue and wall paintings of the first floor. Though faded, there are, in total, 4000 Buddha figures on the wall.

July 16(sat) Pay Respect to Enma Day (Enma moude)
@Byakugoji Temple
Enma is the lord of hell deciding who should go to hell and be punished. July 16 is said to be a holiday at hell; people in the hell get a rest from endless torture. On this day, people in this world pay respect to Enma wishing for health and longevity. At Byakugoji Temple, boiled konjac with miso paste and paper fans are offered to visitors (limited number). On paper fans, the temple’s head Buddhist priest has drawn a picture of Enma.
10:00 ~ Ritual Ceremony

July 23(sat) Special Viewing of Naked Jizo Statue
@Denkoji Temple
Jizo is a Buddhist saint. Jizo statue at Denkoji Temple was sculpted in naked form and wears real clothes. July 23 is an annual day for Jizo statue to change into new clothes. Jizo statue is open to the public only on March 12 and July 23.
17:00 ~ 18:00 Ritual Ceremony to Change Jizo’s Clothes

July 28(thu) Purification Ceremony For Summer (Gejyo-e)
8:00 ~ @Todaiji Temple, Great Buddha Hall
Buddhist priests pray for people to stay healthy during summer. In the beginning of the ceremony priests walk through a Chi-no-wa ring, a fresh green grass rope coiled into a 2 meters wide circle. After the ceremony, everyone is welcome to walk through the Chi-no-wa ring to pray for health.

Around Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji Station:
July 17(sun) Lotus Flower Ceremony (Renge-eshiki)
@ Hokkeji Temple
This is an annual purification ceremony for summer held at Hokkeji Temple. The ceremony is held in the evening with lanterns lighting up the temple precinct. In the beginning of the ceremony
Buddhist nuns walk through a Chi-no-wa ring, a fresh green grass rope coiled into a 2 meters wide circle. Before the ceremony, a bowl of rice porridge is served to everyone for free. People eat this porridge wishing for health.
17:00 ~ Rice porridge is served.
19:00 ~ Ritual Ceremony starts.
~ 21:00 Doors of the temple close.

-NARAWALK guide 
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