Special Extended Hours and Light-Up Events for May in Kyoto

ByJustin Hanus
Apr 22, 2016

Special Extended Hours and Light-Up Events for May in Kyoto


As if the incredible weather and the vibrant greens of springtime weren’t enough to get you out of the house, Kyoto’s May calendar is filled with exciting events and special openings to help you make the most of this iconic season.

Although temperatures tend to hover at cool and comfortable in May, the clear days and sunshine can make a midday outing difficult to bear. Luckily, many of the popular temples around Kyoto have accommodated for this and extended their hours to make room for evening visits.

Between these special light-up evening events and general May festivities, Kyoto has something for everyone to enjoy this spring!

Light up events and special extended hours:

Kodai-Ji Temple

Founded by the wife of one of Japan’s most notorious warlords, the Kodai-Ji temple is a sight to behold. This ancient temple is tucked away amidst a bamboo forest, making for quite an elegant display. Enjoy the views of the garden, pond, and many teahouses as they’re illuminated for the evening.

Where: 526 Kodaiji Shimo-Kawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, take Kyoto City Bus #206 ”Higashiyama Yasui”
When: open until May 8, from sunset to 9:30 p.m.
Admission: ¥600
Tel: 075-561-9966

Entoku-In Temple

Located atop a hill, this artful temple provides visitors with the bonus of scenic views in addition to its own intricate display. Filled with beautiful paintings, narrow corridors, and elaborate meditation halls, this temple is easy to admire. Though the indoor aspects of the building can be appreciated at any time of day, the real treat of evening viewing is to walk along the lit-up karesansui (dry stone) garden.

Where: 530 Shimokawara-cho, Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, take Kyoto City Bus #206 ”Higashiyama Yasui”
When: open until May 8, from sunset to 9:30 p.m.
Admission: ¥500
Tel: 075-525-0101

Hosen-In Temple

This quaint and remote temple can be found in northern Kyoto in the rural district of Ohara. Though the temple itself is quite small, it is still worth a trip, especially if you’re interested in Buddhist history. Hosen-In Temple features a famous Fudo Myo-o statue, a prominent god for Japanese Buddhist culture that is covered in moss and tends to be especially vibrant under the glow of the evening lights.

Where: 187 Ohara Shorinincho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 601-1241, Kyoto Prefecture take Kyoto Bus #16, 17, get off at Ohara. The temple is about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop.
When: open until May 6, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Admission: ¥1,000
Tel: 075-744-2409

Shoren-In Temple

Originally used as a residence for the Tendai School of Buddhism, this temple combines the atmosphere of a place of worship with the relaxed essence of daily living. The garden and carp pond surrounding this temple are simply breathtaking and particularly so while illuminated. Enjoy exploring the temple grounds before strolling the garden paths and having tea at one of the teahouses in the nearby market!

Where: 69-1 Awataguchi Sanjobocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0035, Japan, take Kyoto City Bus #5 ”Jingu-michi”
When: open until May 6, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Admission: ¥800
Tel: 075-561-2345

By Qwert1234 (Qwert1234’s file) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Justin Hanus editor

Leave a Reply