Daimonji 2016

I’m feeling quite tired these days and not very motivated… Last week we suffered through a heat wave of 35+ degrees each day (and around 25 in the night), and although there was a nice breeze through my apartment in the first few days, the last weekend was pretty bad.

This is quite usual in the days before and on Obon, and today was the final event of Obon in Kyoto: the Daimonji, or officially the Gozan no Okuri-bi, the 5 mountains sending fire. I have written about it before, so I will not give any details this time. The nice thing about the daimonji festival is that I can watch it from my own balcony. I can see the large dai, as well as the ofune boat and the hidari dai from my south balcony. Today, I wanted to go to the nearby Kitayama bridge to see the myo-ho fires close up as well, but things don’t always go as we’d like them to.

The whole day was nice and hot but slightly overcast. That would not have been a problem, but about one hour before the start of the first fire it started raining. No, it started pouring down as from buckets. I got slightly worried, but still hoped for the best. At 8:00 pm, it was still pouring, I went out to my balcony to watch the first fire being lit, and there was nothing. Nothing at all. A few times I thought I could see something, but then I was not sure after all.

After a while, on the other side of Kyoto, the ofune boat fire was lit – and it was clearly visible through the pouring rain, as was the smaller hidari dai that was lit 5 minutes later. I have no idea what happened with the large dai, but I am sure could not have missed it, since it is so close and I have the perfect view from my balcony. I kept going outside every 10 minutes or so until now, but there is still nothing happening, and by now they will not start it anymore I am sure. I will ask my friend if he knows what happened, but for now, here’s a photo from this year’s ofune fire, which is my favourite, by the way.  ofune fire of the daimonji