Updated: May 11, 2018
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Guide To The Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro (京都東山花灯路)

Kyoto City

The Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro illumination festival held in March in is one of the most magical events the capital has to offer in the spring. Here is a guide on things to do to fully enjoy the festival.

Mar 09, 2018(Fri) - Mar 18, 2018(Sun)
Kyoto
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Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro (京都東山花灯路)

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Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro is a spring illumination festival held in the ancient streets of Kyoto. The designated streets lit by beautiful lanterns lead to the foothills of the Higashiyama Mountain.

How To Enjoy The Festival

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The lantern illumination hours are from 6 PM to 9:30 PM. Walking through the north-south axis of the prescribed path while stopping at beautiful Tokyo landmarks such as the Shoren-in Temple, the Murayama Park, and the Yasaka Shrine is the best way to enjoy the festival.
Map02 http://www.hanatouro.jp/e/higashiyama/index.html
The lines in red are the official litted streets of the 2018 edition.
Lanterns are not the only way the light up is made. The Kodaiji Temple (高台寺) and its surroundings are lit by an awesome display of projection mapping.
It's a pretty amazing combination of traditional and modern art forms to say the least.
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Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺)
At the southern end of the path, you will reach Kiyomizu Temple, one of the most stunning temples of the city. This is the only time of the year the temple is lit with the warm lights of lanterns so take a moment to appreciate the scene.
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The shops are opened during the festival so feel free to shop your way through the path. The store pictured above specializes in Japanese umbrellas, a great souvenir to get if you are traveling!
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Try to spot the fox bride which appears twice. A women-fox wearing a white kimono is carried by rickshaw making her way through the path from Chion-in temple to Kodai-in temple. This is a re-enacting of the folktale "kitsune no yomeiri" (狐の嫁入り) which means wedding of the fox bride. It's almost surreal to watch her being carried in the faith light of the lanterns.
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There are also apprentice geisha dance performances held at the Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社) on a stage lit by paper lanterns. This is definitely something you can only enjoy in Kyoto.
Lastly, if you are interested in the Japanese art of ikebana (flower arrangement) you will love the Ikebana Promenade, a walk that features some traditional and contemporary ikebana art.
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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