Kyoto Hanatouro Illumination Festivals

ByRay Proper
Nov 14, 2016

Kyoto Hanatouro Illumination Festivals

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Hanatouro is an “illumination festival” that happens in Kyoto twice a year at two separate locations.  Actually there are two separate festivals that take place, the Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro and the Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro that feature different parts of the city.  They are similar, but each offers a slightly different experience.

Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro

This festival takes place annually in December, and despite the cold many people flock to see some of Kyoto’s most famous areas lit up in “illumination style,” and to walk through streets lined with handicraft lanterns in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  The overall effect is quite stunning! You can also enjoy later than usual hours at most local businesses, where foods sales are brisk!

  • “Light and Blossoms Pathway”
  • Flower Arrangement Promenade
  • Entire Togetsukyo Bridge Area Illuminated
  • All Bamboo Forest
  • Walkways Illuminated

You can find more information on the festival website

Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro

The Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro takes place annually in March. The festival features the “Light and Blossoms Pathway,” with approximately 2500 lanterns decorating the 5 km walking path that leads into the foothills of Higashiyama Mountain through Shoren-in Temple and Maruyama Park, and then through Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

On your walk you will be treated not only to the lights, but to sponsored displays and activities:

  • Ikebana Promenade
  • University Town of Kyoto / Traditional Light Exhibit
  • Fire Watch and Ohayashi Music Group
  • Takeakari-Yugennokawa (Bamboo lanterns/Profound Stream)
  • Dedication dance of an apprentice geisha

You can find more information on the festival website


Photo:Creative Commons “Arashiyama Hanatōro, Nison-in” By 松岡明芳 (CC BY-SA 3.0) -Modified

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