Three major fireworks festivals in Amanohashidate
- Three major fireworks festivals in Amanohashidate
Amanohashidate Monjudo Voyaging Out Ceremony
This festival is held every year on July 24th. It is an event that reproduces the legendary “Kusedo-engi*” that remains in Chionji Temple. Two dragons, gold and silver, dances are played along with the Japanese drums on the aquatic stage where the torches are lit. The festival reaches its climax with many fireworks set off. This time of year, the hotels near the venue accept reservations of Fireworks Viewing Boat Tours operated by us. Please make a reservation if you are interested. You can see the fireworks from the sea on this tour!
Voyaging Out Ceremony
“Kusedo-Engi” is an ancient document handed down to the Chionji Temple in Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture. It is written about the legend of Manjusri Bodhisattva and dragons. Following is the brief outline of this story.
Time immemorial, two Gods, “Izanagi no Mikoto” and “Izanami no Mikoto”, created the Japanese Archipelago and Amanohashidate. However, on the completed earth, the evil dragons were rampaging so people could not live there. Gods discussed every day to find the best solution. Finally, Izanagi no Mikoto said, “Manjushri in Mt. Wutai, China is the most sacred Buddha of wisdom and has been a dragon’s mentor from ancient times. If we enshrine Manjushri here, the evil dragon will surely to be mended their ways.” Therefore, the gods welcomed the Manjusri Bodhisattva from Mt. Wutai to this Kusedo (Amanohashidate). Manjushri was kindly and mercifully preached the dragons for a thousand years. Eventually, they were completely converted, became devout believers of Buddha and vowed to protect people.
Miyazu Toro Nagashi Fireworks Festival
Miyazu Toro Nagashi
In Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture, Miyazu Toro Nagashi Fireworks Festival, one of Japan’s three major floating lanterns, is held every year on August 16th. Toro nagashi is a Japanese ceremony during the Bon festival in which participants float paper lanterns down a river or sea. We send ancestors’ spirits off by releasing lighted lanterns to the sea. Lanterns on the water escort the spirits back to the world they belong. This fireworks display is a traditional event passed down from the Edo period and became its current form in 1924. It is considered to have its origin in that the offering goods were accompanied by small lights and shed into the sea to send the spirits of the ancestors welcomed during the Obon to Gokuraku Jodo (Sukhāvatī) again. The boats called Shorobune are also put to sea by people who lost a family member within a year. They are decorated with bon-lanterns and imitation flowers and are believed to hold the spirits of the deceased on board.
Eventually, the beauty of the lanterns flowing into the sea became popular. It is an important event for local people, which many spectators visit it every year even now. On the day of the festival, about 10,000 lanterns flow into Miyazu Bay and about 3,000 fireworks are launched into the sky. Its fantastic atmosphere will never fail to capture your heart. After the fireworks show, a Bon dance festival is held. This time of year, the hotels near the venue also accept reservations of Fireworks Viewing Boat Tours operated by us. Please make a reservation if you are interested. You can see the fireworks from the sea on this tour!
Amanohasidate Winter Fireworks dedicated to Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu enshrined in Nariaiji temple
Amanohasidate Winter Fireworks
This Fireworks festival heralds the coming of winter early on the last Sunday of October, just before the fishing season of the Matsuba crab which is Miyazu’s special product opens. Over two thousand fireworks light up the clear autumn sky fascinate the audience. It is unusual to hold a fireworks festival at this time of year, not in the middle of summer, and it is very popular. Since the winter night sky is clear, the fireworks look more beautiful than usual.
This fireworks festival was first held in 2005. It was held as the event to commemorate the 1,300th anniversary of the establishment of Nariaiji temple, the 28th temple of the 33 Temples of Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage, at about the midpoint of Mt. Nariai, which commands a bird’s‐eye view of the Amanohashidate.
Note; The image of the Gomadaki (the Buddhist rite of burning wood sticks) for illustrative purposes only. The photo was taken during the lighting event in November, actual state may vary.
It was scheduled for a one-off event at first, but we received many requests to see it again, so it would continue in subsequent years. It is now a beloved as an event that is an essential for Miyazu. Fireworks seen from the viewing area along the Aso Sea beach are fantastic, but also their view from the Kasamatsu Park, which overlooks Amanohashidate, is wonderful and the beauty of them admired from a height of about 130 meters above sea level is breathtaking. Our cable cars run until the end of the fireworks display on the day of the event. And we operate Fireworks Viewing Boat Tours. Please feel free to make a reservation and join if you are interested.