Wakakusa Yamayaki 2024 (schedule and timetable)

The schedule and timetable of Wakakusa Yamayaki

The schedule and the timetable of Wakakusa Yamayaki is presented here. Wakakusa Yamayaki is held every year on the evening of the 4th Saturday in January. At Wakakusa Yamayaki, related events and rituals such as foothill events, Kasuga-no-Otondo, Goshinka Hotaisai, Seika Gyoretsu Shupatsu, Taimatsu Tento, Nogami Jinjya Saiten, Ohanabi, and Isei Tenka are held.

【Wakakusa Yamayaki 2024 Schedule】

Wakakusa Yamayaki will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 18:30. Fireworks will be launched shortly before at 18:15.
Wakakusa Yamayaki

【Wakakusa Yamayaki map & access】

Address: Mt. Wakakusa-yama, Zoshi-cho, Nara
Access: JR Nara Station, Kintetsu Nara Station (Directly in front of “Todaiji Daibutsuden Kasugataisha-mae” on the city loop bus)

【Wakakusa Yamayaki brief overview】

Wakakusa Yamayaki is said to have been practiced since before the Edo period (1603-1868). However, the origin of Wakakusa Yamayaki is not clear. According to Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Wakakusa Sanyaki originated from the festival of the Somabito, a woodcutter who appeased the souls of Uguisuduka Kofun. Today, Wakakusa Yamayaki is held to pray for the repose and remembrance of the souls of our ancestors, for the prevention of disasters, and for world peace.

【12:30- Foothill Events (Location : Mt. Wakakusa-yama)】

Foothill events are held at the foot of Mt. Wakakusa-yama before the Wakakusa Yamayaki. Foothill events include the deer cracker flying contest (Shikasenbei Tobashi Taikai, 鹿せんべい飛ばし大会), the hot food booth (hot food related to Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine), the dedication performance (Hono Enso, 奉納演奏), and the fire brigade departure ceremony (Shobodan Shupatsu Shikiten, 消防団出発式典). By the way, the fire brigade ignites Wakakusa Yamayaki. (Content subject to change)
●deer cracker flying contest:12:30-15:00 (registration 12:00-14:30)
●hospitality hot drink sales:13:00-19:00
●dedication performance:15:45-16:30・18:15-19:00
●fire brigade departure ceremony:17:00-17:20

【13:00-18:00 Kasuga-no-Otondo (Location : Tobihino)】

Kasuga-no-Otondo (春日の大とんど) is the seed fire for Wakakusa Yamayaki. At Kasuga-no-Otondo, the furnace is placed the Tobihino of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and New Year’s Shimenawa decorations and old ofuda (shrine bills) and omamori (shrine amulets) given at Kasuga Taisha Shrine are burned to pray for good health and a bountiful harvest.

【16:45- Goshinka Hotaisai (Location : Tobihino)】

At Goshinka Hotaisai (Sacred Fire Dedication Ceremony, 御神火奉戴祭), Goshinka (sacred fire), which is the seed fire for Wakakusa Yamayaki, is received from Kasuga-no-Otondo. The ritual, whichi is attended by yamabushi (mountain monks), priests, and monks who participate in Seika Gyoretsu Shupatsu (torchlight procession) is held, and and a dance by miko (shrine maiden) is dedicated.

【17:05- Seika Gyoretsu Shupatsu (Location : Tobihino)】

At Seika Gyoretsu Shupatsu (Torchlight Procession, 聖火行列出発), Goshinka (sacred fire), which is the seed fire for Wakakusa Yamayaki, is carried. At Seika Gyoretsu Shupatsu, the procession of gagaku and doraku (musicians), sohei (monk soldiers), officials from the Nara Town Magistrate’s Office, horagaishu from Kinpusen-ji Temple, monks from Kofuku-ji Temple, monks from Todai-ji Temple, and priests from Kasuga Taisha parade.

【17:25- Taimatsu Tento (Location : Mizutani Shrine)】

At Taimatsu Tento (Torch Lighting, 松明点火), taimatsu (torch) at the torch-lighting station set up near the Noh stage of the Mizutani Shrine, a branch shrine of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, is ignited with Goshinka (sacred fire), which is the seed fire for Wakakusa Yamayaki.

【17:40- Nogami Jinjya Saiten (Location : Mt. Wakakusa-yama)】

At Nogami Jinjya Saiten (野上神社祭典), kagaribi (bonfire) at Nogami Shrine, which is located at the foot of Mt. Wakakusa-yama and is a branch shrine of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, is ignited to pray for the safety of Wakakusa Yamayaki. During sutra chanting by monks from Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji temples, the fire is transferred from kagaribi (bonfire) to taimatsu (torch). Then, ohkagarbi (large bonfire) set up at the center of the foot of Mt. Wakakusa-yama is ignited.

【18:15- Ohanabi (Location : Mt. Wakakusa-yama)】

Ohanabi (large fireworks, 大花火) is launched just before Wakakusa Yamayaki. Hundreds of fireworks are launched, including the only Shakudama fireworks in Nara Prefecture. Shakudama is a No. 10 ball with a diameter of about 29.5 cm and a weight of about 8.5 kg.

【18:30- Isei Tenka (Location : Mt. Wakakusa-yama)】

At Isei Tenka (simultaneous lighting, 一斉点火), taimatsu (torch) are transferred from okagarbi (large bonfire) set at the center of the foot of Mt. Wakakusa-yama, and the Nara City Fire Brigade carries taimatsu (torch), and at the signal of horagai (conch shell) and trumpet, they ignite the meadows of Mt. Wakakusa-yama all at once.

【Mt. Wakakusa-yama brief overview】
Mt. Wakakusa-yama is a mountain located in Nara City, with an elevation of about 342 meters and an area of about 33 hectares. Mt. Wakakusa-yama is also called “Uguisu-yama” because there is a burial mound called “Uguisu-yama kofun (tumulus)” on the top of the mountain, which is said to have been built in the 5th century. Mt. Wakakusa-yama is also called “Mikasa-yama” because it looks like three overlapping “Sugegasa (hats)”.

【Wakakusa Yamayaki remarks】
Always check with the organizer for event information. Information on this site is for reference only. Contents of the event may have changed.


  1. 柳生一刀石
  2. 若草山(Mt. Wakakusa-yama)
  3. 吉野山