Many of Japan’s most visually striking festivals and traditions can be found in Kyoto. The Daimoji Okuribi festival is held every August at the end of the O-bon holiday, during which it is believed that the spirits of deceased family members return to visit their descendants. Giant bonfires in the shape of Japanese characters are lit on five of the hills surrounding the city. The events are meant to represent the spirits of the deceased going back to the spirit world.

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