This year’s Kurama Fire Festival was a mix of rain, mud and flames. I liked the costumes, but the degree of pyromania and the level of drunken chaos was pretty tame compared to other fire festivals I’ve been to in Japan. I think the close proximity to Kyoto, and therefore the entire Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe metropolis means you get too many people for what is in reality quite a small event in a very small town.
The big plus however is that the Kurama Fire Festival takes place on October 22nd the same day as Kyoto’s Jidai Matsuri. Watch the Jidai Matsuri in the afternoon then head over to Kurama for a smokey evening. This year the Jidai Matsuri was postponed by a day, but I wasn’t leaving Kyoto until I’d shot a samurai.