We were fortunate enough to arrive in Kyoto on the exact night of the amazing Daimonji Festival. This is when locals honor the souls of the deceased. The festival’s epicentre happened on the town’s bridge and river (close to the bamboo forests), where thousands of tourists assembled to watch the ceremony. First we witnessed hundreds of lanterns being let to float on the river, while we were listening to Buddhist chants in the background. Then, the night’s finale – a spectacular bonfire was lit up on five hills surrounding the city, each in shape of a different character. It was truly a glorious sight, even though it was absolutely pouring it down that night. Luckily, to freshen up, there were plenty of restaurants and street food stands around. We decided to go for Hamiltonian, skewers with chicken and leek. If you happen to be in Kyoto this time of year, make sure you don’t miss the Daimonji Festival!