One of Kyoto’s big three festivals features more than 2,000 people dressed in costumes ranging from the 8th to the 19th centuries parading from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian-jingu on 22 October. Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) is of comparatively recent origin, only dating back to 1895. Taking place on the same day is the Kurama Fire Festival – perhaps Kyoto’s most dramatic celebration. Men in loincloths carr y huge flaming torches through the streets of Kurama, in the nor thern hills. Note that trains to and from Kurama will be completely packed with passengers on the evening of the festival (we suggest going early and returning late).