In this article, we would like to talk about Japan’s tradition event, the Toro Nagashi or Floating Lanterns.

What is “Toro Nagashi?”

Toro Nagashi is an event where people use a historical exterior illumination that has been used  in Japan for a long time and make them float to rivers or seas.

The meaning of Toro Nagashi is to send the spirits of their ancestors to the afterlife. Due to this, the event is usually held during the end of the Obon Season (Day of the Dead.)

During the Obon Season, it is said that the ancestors return to this life and so families prepare special offerings to entertain the spirits.

This event is held during this season so as to send the spirits of the ancestors who returned to this life back to the afterlife.

Depending on the region, the event can also be called as 「精霊流し Shoro Nagashi.」

Where Can You Go To Watch?

The Toro Nagashi is usually held in every region of Japan, however, there are places where people can enjoy the event as well as the spectacular view.

We would like to introduce the places that took the top for the perfect Toro Nagashi.

Kyoto Arashiyama “渡月橋 Togetsukyo”

One of the famous tourist spots in the Kansai region, Arashiyama, holds a Toro Nagashi Event during the end of every Obon Season. The place is in Togetsukyo and the even is held on August 16th every year.

The event started in the year 1949. It started as a memorial service for those who lost their lives in the war.

On the same day of the Togetsukyo in Arashiyama, a huge summer event is also held in Kyoto called the 「五山の送り火 Gozan No Okuribi」.

This event can be seen from Togetsukyo so people can enjoy both of the Obon Festivals at the same time and truly enjoy the moment.

People can buy lanterns in the place so if you have a special someone you want to send away, why not share a moment with them by participating in this festival.

The Atomic Bomb Dome Area of Hiroshima

Toro Nagashi is also held near the place where atomic bombs where dropped in Hiroshima, Japan.

The event period differs from other regions and is held on the day the atomic bomb was dropped, which was August 6th.

During the day, a Peace Memorial Ceremony is held where the victims of the incident mourns for World Peace.

The lanterns used in the Hiroshima event uses colored papers and people write on them their wishes and desire of World Peace.

Visitors can also buy the lanterns and join the festival on the spot in Hiroshima.


Toro Nagashi is an event in Japan held to send spirits back to the afterlife and to hold a memorial service for the victims of the war.

Today, so as to protect the environment, people make sure to pull up their lanterns when it reaches the downstream.

If you are interested in this event, feel free to try and enjoy!