Fire Walk Festival


The Fire Walk Festival is held every year in the spring at a temple complex on Mount Takao

in the outskirts of Tokyo. The Head Priest prays at the alter to begin the ceremony.



The Sacred Fire

 After laborious preparations and much chanting, the sacred fire is presented to the Gods.



The Flames

The fire is lit accompanied by a frenzy of chanting and activity.



The Blessing

The Head Priest blesses the fire.



The Intrepid Monk

The bravest monk strips to the waist and splashes hot water over his body. He is the first to cross

the coals, when they are the hottest. Of course, this is all done bare footed.



Procession of the Devoted

Dozens of priests and monks follow, in full regalia.



Tending the Fire

As the coals die down, they are redistributed.



Audience Participation

The faithful in the audience are invited to walk the coals. Surprisingly, several hundred do so.

They are often guided by monks.



Me Too!

Even children run the course.



And Me Too!

By the time the coals had sufficiently cooled, even I was brave enough to make the walk.



One Last Blessing

The Head Priest blesses each person who reaches the goal.



Ending Ceremonies

The ceremonies end with a procession back to the temple led by the Head Priest.



The Head Nun

The Head Nun follows.



The End

The procession ends with monks blowing on conch shells.