On Sunday March 8th, thousands of people went to Tokyo’s Mount Takao to watch an exclusive custom. They watched supporters of the Shugendo religion walk across a path of scorching, hot pieces of coal in barefoot. It is performed by Shugendo’s followers to protect them from bad luck and to keep them healthy also to bring peace in the world.
If any person wanted to cooperate they were aloud but only at the end when the pieces of coal have calmed to a more cooler temperature. This is known as the Hiwatari-Matsuri festival, the anniversary ritual is performed at the Takao-san Yakuo-in Yuki-ji Temple every second Sunday of March.
Did you know that Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple is an old Buddhist temple positioned at the top of Mount Takao. It is known as one of three important temples of Shingon. Shingon is also known as one of the current major schools of Buddhism in Japan.
Another thing you might not know is that at the festival, followers first pray for their families, safety and body and then they follow Shugendo practicing monks who walk barefoot over the spiritual goma fire that is scorching and is partly still burning.
I have chosen this story because it is really interesting and who knows maybe even one day I might get to walk over hot pieces of rocks.