What’s Obon holiday in Japan?
”Obon week” from August 13th to 16th is the holiday to welcome the spirits of forefathers to our home in Japan.
Actually, we Kyoto citizen have the custom to visit Rokudo street to pray and welcome the spirits before the Obon week from August 7th to 10th.
It is called “Rokudo-san” where we think the place between this world and the land of the dead.
At the same time, we have the open air market for pottery along Gojo-zaka street. Many people visit to find some great bargain.
The Pottery festival along Gojo-zaka in Kyoto
I visited the Open-air market of Japanese pottery along Gojo-zaka street around 9 half am today.
It might be the great chance for you to find the great bargain.
We can see not only Kiyomizu (Kyoto) pottery, but also varieties of unique potteries from north and south in Japan. It seems there are the potteries for daily life such as plates, bowls for rice more than tea bowls for Cha-do.
Since it’s one of the festivals in Kyoto, there are some stores selling shaved ice, and other goods like bags for summer, and the handmade accessories made of grass.
However, I’ve noticed it’s too hot to walk in the morning or afternoon. Since it’s open till 10pm, it’s better to go at night.
Pottery festival along Gojo-zaka in Kyoto August 7th -10th from 9am to 10pm
Welcome our forefather visiting the boundary line to the land of the death in August.
Walking 7-8minutes from Gojo-zaka street, there is the place called “Rokudo-no tsuji” which is thought as the boundary line between this world and that world. Since it was the large graveyard in Heian period (794-1192), we still have the custom to visit here from August 7th to 10th to welcome the spirits of our forefathers.
Rokudo means 6 worlds where people go after death; nakara (hell) realm, hungry ghost (preta) realm, the Hell of Beasts, human world, and the heaven.
First, we need to buy an umbrella pine and ring the Buddhism bell to welcome the spirits.
595 Komatsu-cho 4 Shijo-kudaru Yamatoo-ji dori Higashiyama-ku Kyoto
The Ghost candy for raising children.
One more thing we must not forget for this Rokudo-notsuji area is the shop of “ghost candy”. There is the legend that a young mother who gave birth to a child after her death bought the candy every night to feed her baby. After the baby was found by a priest on the grave of her, she won’t come to the candy shop anymore.
Even it’s the story of the ghost, I felt the warm heart of the mother.
Surprisingly, I’ve heard the famous Japanese animation “Gegegeno Kitaro” is written by getting the inspiration from this ghost story.
The candy shop “minatoya” is in front of Saifukuji temple, where we have the stone image “zizo” for raising children.
It’s said the 2nd oldest shop in Kyoto from 500 years ago.
81 Nishirokuro-cho Yamatoo-ji higashi iru Matsubara-dori Higshiyama-ku Kyoto
Yu-rei Koiku Ame (Ghost candy) is in front of Saifukuji temple.