Japan Kyoto

Higashiyama Hanatouro Night Illuminations

By a happy coincidence, our trip to Kyoto in mid-March coincided with the Higashiyama Hanatouro (東山花灯路) night-time illuminations where thousands of lanterns light the historic streets and many of the temples and shrines open till late.

We spent a couple of hours wandering the stone-clad streets and narrow alleyways, wondering what lay behind the closed doors and softly illuminated windows of the exclusive Higashiyama District.

Yasaka Pagoda (八坂の塔)
Gate to Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺)

The highlight of the evening was visiting Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) temple which lies in the foothills of Mount Otowa and has a wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside. People used to jump from the stage believing that if they survived, their wishes would be granted! 85% survived.

Although I had visited the area before during the daytime, the night illuminations added a whole new dimension to the experience and were very atmospheric.

Author

Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

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