Setsubun Mantoro

A Magical Night by Lantern Light

The Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara, japan, is known for its enchanting annual event that takes place on February 3rd. During this event, the shrine is illuminated by over 3,000 stone and brass lanterns, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. This magical night by lantern light offers visitors a rare opportunity to witness the shrine as it would have appeared almost 1,000 years ago. The flickering candles housed within the lanterns cast a soft glow, creating an ethereal ambiance that transports visitors back in time.

Don’t Miss: Strolling through the Forest Paths, Lit by Stone Lanterns
One of the highlights of this event is strolling through the forest paths that surround the shrine. These paths are lined with stone lanterns, providing a breathtaking sight as the lanterns flicker in the darkness. The soft glow of the lanterns creates a mystical atmosphere, making it a truly enchanting experience. Walking along these paths allows visitors to immerse themselves in the history and spirituality of the shrine.

How to Get There:
The easiest way to reach the Kasuga Taisha Shrine is by bus or on foot. Buses from both the JR and Kintetsu Nara stations stop at the Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop, which is just a short walk from the event. Alternatively, visitors can choose to walk from the Kintetsu Nara station, which takes approximately 20 minutes. The journey to the shrine is a pleasant one, as it allows visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of Nara.

Local Donations:
Many of the lanterns that illuminate the shrine during the event are donations from local residents and business people. Over the course of the festival’s 800-year history, numerous famous individuals have contributed lanterns. Some of these lanterns even bear the names of renowned samurai from the Warring States period (1467–1603). This practice of local donations adds a personal touch to the event and reflects the deep connection between the shrine and the community.

The Festival of Wishes:
Apart from its visual splendor, the festival at Kasuga Taisha Shrine is also associated with the making and granting of wishes. Visitors can visit the smaller shrines located near the main shrine to pray for their desires to come true. This aspect of the event adds a spiritual dimension, allowing visitors to connect with their innermost desires and aspirations. The serene atmosphere of the shrine provides the perfect setting for introspection and reflection.

Setsubun, the Magical Festival:
The timing of the lantern event at Kasuga Taisha Shrine coincides with Setsubun, an annual festival in Japan that celebrates the transition from winter to spring. Setsubun is marked by various rituals, one of which involves the throwing of dried beans to ward off bad fortune. Visitors to the shrine during the lantern event can participate in this tradition by purchasing dried beans and charms available at the shrine. This adds an interactive element to the event, allowing visitors to actively engage in the festivities.

Don’t Be Scared of the Dark:
While the paths leading to the shrine are well-lit with lanterns, some areas may have less illumination. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is recommended to carry a flashlight. Flashlights can be purchased at souvenir and discount shops near the station at an affordable price. Following the locals’ lead and taking a flashlight will help visitors navigate the darker spots and fully enjoy the beauty of the shrine.

The magical night by lantern light at Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara is a captivating event that showcases the historical and spiritual significance of the shrine. With over 3,000 stone and brass lanterns illuminating its grounds, the shrine transports visitors to a bygone era. The flickering candles housed within the lanterns create a serene and mystical atmosphere, making it a truly enchanting experience. Visitors can stroll through the forest paths, immerse themselves in the history and spirituality of the shrine, and even make wishes for their desires to come true. The event coincides with the Setsubun festival, allowing visitors to engage in traditional rituals and experience the vibrant culture of Japan. Don’t be scared of the dark, as a flashlight will ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. The magical night by lantern light at Kasuga Taisha Shrine is a must-see event that offers a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage and provides an unforgettable experience for visitors from around the world.

Address And Maps Location:

160 Kasugano-cho, Nara-shi, Nara-ken

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