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Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

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Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Hi all :)

I will be visiting Japan in December and wish to visit Nara for a day trip from Osaka. Specifically, I want to be there for the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri on December 17.

There's really not much information anywhere, but am really thankful for this forum topic (now closed) about the festival tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g298198-i3749-k…

I have a few more questions, so I hope you can help me...

1. Where is the best spot to view the procession? Or do we have to walk & follow?

2. How early do we need to be there to be able to find a good spot to stand and watch the procession?

3. If we were to stay at #1 Torii gate, will we be able to see the start of procession as well as the horse race and kids shooting arrows?

4. Silly question but, we don't need to book anything for this right? Can we just rock up and enjoy? :)

Thank you so much.

13 replies to this topic
posts: 165
reviews: 17
11. Re: Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Thanks Shot! :) So glad for all your help.

I am planning to arrive at Nara at about 9.30/10 in the morning and maybe take a taxi to Kasuga Shrine area and then walk our way down to Prefectural Hall at about 11am. And after the procession, I will walk around Naramachi and find a good place for afternoon tea (any suggestion?)

Another plan is to arrive and walk around Naramachi and then pick a spot at Prefectural Hall. And when the procession ends around 3pm-ish, I will then walk towards Deer Park & Todaiji & Kasuga Taisha... and then maybe enjoy a bit of an afternoon tea at one of the restaurants mentioned above. But with this plan, I'm not sure what time the places (temples and restaurants) close on the day.

Which one sounds more feasible? Or do you think we should just arrive and "camp" and find a good spot instead of walking around? I don't want to under/over estimate the amount of crowd on the day! LOL.

Thank you again!!! :) :) :)

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,356
reviews: 1
12. Re: Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Are you coming via JR or Kintetsu Line? In either case, I suggest you walk to Deer Park or #1 Torii gate, rather than get a cab/bus ride if you're fit enough to walk. FYI, Kasuga Shrine closes at 1700, Great Buddha Hall at 1630, National Museum at 1700, but you should get in at least 30min ahead of the closing times. Yes, among others, Deer Park, 5-storied Pagoda, Ukimido and Nigatsudo/February Hall are open 24/7.

My suggestion is, do Kasuga Shrine via Ukimido and then head for Nigatsudo/February Hall so you'll be in time for the commencement of the procession event at Prefectural Government Hall. Yes, Great Buddha Hall and others can wait. For your afternoon cuppa, I recommend you go to a cafe called Tengyokudo, which is located across the east (admission-free Isuien Garden) side of the road from the above-said government buiding:


If at the peak time, you'd be amazed to look at a sea of yellow/golden fallen gingko leaves on your way here. Yes, it's a shame the peak will be gone...

Edited: 1:51 am, November 12, 2013
posts: 165
reviews: 17
13. Re: Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Thank you so much Shot :) Very clear instructions...

I might give either the Tengyokudo a try, or the Ninaichaya! :)

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