Aoba festival on Mount Koya, Japan

I travel a lot in Asia, and Japan is my most favorite country. One of the things I especially enjoy is local events, like temple festivals or traditional celebrations.

Mount Koya in Wakayama prefecture is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its Buddhist temples. It's a major spiritual center in Japan, associated with a famous Japanese Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi (he lived in 8-9 centuries AD and founded both Mount Koya and Shingon Buddhism school). Every year the small temple town of Mount Koya holds a local event to commemorate the birthday of its founder. It's a 2 day event with various activities, one of them a parade where portable shrines are carried around town and groups of townspeople dance folk dances.

This event is on a smaller scale, nothing at all like famous festivals of Kyoto and other parts of the country, but it has a charming atmosphere that I really enjoyed (the fact that there is much less visitors contributed to the enjoyment).

The festival takes place in June - check it out if you're visiting Kansai region in that time of year.

Pagodas of Mount Koya

Young Buddhist priest throwing good luck charms to the croud

Young shinto priestess distributing good luck charms during Aoba festival

Young shinto priestess during Aoba festival

Elderly Japanese dancers in white traditional clothes during Aoba festival

Elderly Japanese dancer in white traditional clothes during Aoba festival

Japanese folk dancer

Photo credits: Katinka2014.

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March 27, 2016


Newbeginning2013 - Yes, I've been to Hagi once, in 2006 :) I liked it very much, hope to go again sometime. I have a much better camera now than then :)

March 27, 2016


Japan is long-time my favorite place too. Have you ever been to Hagi, in Yamaguchi Prefecture? It is not so easy to get to, but the castle town of Yoshida Shoin and its matsuri offer some great photo opportunities. If you take the Shinkansen down to Shimonoseki, and then a local train along the coast to Hagi, it is an unforgettable trip. Been going there since the 1980's.

March 24, 2016


Hm. . .So interesting event will be. . . Hey everybody.DT-ers.let's go to the Mount Koya in the next June! and don't forgets yours cameras!

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