On August 16th in Kyoto, everyone in the city goes out to see the special bonfires on the surrounding mountains, which is called Gozan Okuribi.
These bonfires are lit to send ancestors’ spirits that visit this world during “obon period”(usually August 13th – 16th), to the world where they belong.
On the same day in Arashiyama, there’s another event to guide these spirits to another world.
When the sun sets, hundreds of small lanterns are floated down the river near Togetsukyo Bridge. It creates a serene, profound and beautiful scene, which is very different from the bonfire event mentioned above.
In addition, at around 20:20, one of the bonfires, more specifically, the Torii gate shape can be seen from the same spot.
Therefore, for people who are going to spend all day in the Arashiyama Area on August 16th, the lantern floating ceremony can be a nice idea for the end of a long day of exploring.
For more fun and useful information, which will make your Kyoto Travel more memorable, exciting and stress-free, please check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.