On the outskirts of Kyoto and only 20 minutes by train, Kameoka hosts one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the whole of Japan.
What should you do when you want to pray for peace? Hold an explosive fireworks display and make the most amount of noise possible, obviously. This annual celebration, also known as Peace Festival, takes place in the town of Kameoka and is one of the biggest and noisiest events of the year.
Festivities kick off on August 6th with huge dance procession where everyone can join in and learn some traditional dance. At noon the following day, a prayer ceremony is held at the Nishiyama Peace Tower and lanterns are lit using the sunlight. However, the party really starts on the evening of the second day.
Hozu River is the location of the spectacular fireworks display where some 5000 fireworks are set off into the night sky in hope of peace. The fireworks used are of the highest quality with a rare firework known as 'Tokusen-dama' being the most impressive. To accompany the ceremony, an array of stalls offering lots of tasty food and souvenirs line the streets. The fireworks are so popular that you can reserve seats beforehand, starting at 1000 yen for a single person, and 20,000 for a group of four (in a swanky VIP area). Otherwise join the swarm of people on the streets if you want to see it all for free.
It's only 20 minutes on the train from Kyoto station so will easily fit into your Kyoto itinerary - although we'd probably travel for hours to see this magnificent display.
If you were hoping for a nice peaceful evening stroll by the river, you can forget it.
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