"Bon festival" is the Buddhist service for the dead. Around August 15th, Japanese people welcome the spirit of the dead comes back from the other world. In Kyoto, "Gozan-no-Okuribi" has been hold to send-off the spirit since 15th century. On each of the five mountains surrounding the city, giant bonfires are set the light. Four of these fires are in the shape of "kanji", the Chinese characters. Other fires shape the boat and shrine gate "Torii". On the summit of a Mt. Funaoka-yama, you can see all bonfires.
|lighting time||Chinese characters & shapes||Place(Address)||view spots|
|20:00||Daimonji (“大” in kanji)||Higashiyama Nyoigatake Sakyo-ku, Kyoto||
along Kamo-gawa river from Marutamachi to Misono-bashi bridge
|20:10||Myo/Ho (“妙・法” in kanji)||Matsugasaki Sakyo-ku, Kyoto||
around Matsugasaki water purification plant,
|20:15||Funagata (shape of boat)||Nishigamo Funayama Kita-ku, Kyoto||
around Misono-bashi bridge, Kitaoji-bashi bridge, Kitayama st.
|20:15||Hidari Daimonji (“大” in kanji)||Ohkitayama Kita-ku, Kyoto||
on Mt. Funaoka-yama, along Nishioji st. from Shijo st. around Kinkaku-ji Temple
|20:20||Torii-gata (shape of shrine gate)||Saga Toriimoto Ukyo-ku, Kyoto||
North of Seiryo-ji Temple, Hirosawa-ike pond, Arashiyama, Matsuo-bashi bridge
*each fires light about 30min
*the time schedule may change by the weather
Every May to September, restaurants along Kamo-gawa river establish "Kawayuka" seat like terrace temporally. This Kawayuka seat was started by the merchant who treated to set the flexible chair for the guest in Edo period (17th to 19th century). Also, this terrace called "Kawadoko" is established around Kibune, north of Kyoto. Today, you can visit the restaurant with "Kawayuka" for lunch (only May and September) and tea and they prepare limited menu. Why don't you try "Kawayuka" in this summer?