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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

TOKA-E, summer candle night in Nara

TOKA-E candle night festival 2017

Since 1999, Nara Candle Festival (Nara, TOKA-E (燈花会) has been held in Nara Park and many nearby historical sites, as one of the new summer features. It is usually held from August 5th through 14th.

Originally, TOKA-E event started to attract more visitors to Nara during the hottest season of the year, but it is getting more than that... 

After sunset, thousands of candles are lit by volunteers, and bring a beautiful fascinating atmosphere very different from daytime. Each day, about 400 volunteers support this event to welcome people with candle lights.

Unlike many famous summer festivals, such as GION matsuri in Kyoto or TENJIN matsuri in Osaka, etc., it is a very quiet and not for the locals only. Yes, you will see many visitors, but still you can enjoy your own space and moment which is

It is a nice opportunity to be in yakuta, or summer cotton kimono, too.

Visitors are welcomed to join the event by buying your own small lantern or light your own candle to pray for happiness, peace, etc.

Why until 14th of August?

Because, traditionally, August 15th is ‘Obon’, a day to commemorate the souls of ancestors.

Since this day is officially regarded as the day which ended the World War II (1945), many Japanese pray for peace in many locations in more sincere ceremonial feelings.

Nara, also have a special event at Todaiji temple and Kasuga taisha grand shrine too.

※This is a photo at Heijo kyo palace site, when thy have TOKA-E like festival in other timing.

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