Kyoto holds its Hanatouro Festival twice a year. "Hanatouro" means "path with flower and light" and the streets are filled with lanterns, illuminated installations, and huge ikebana arrangements. Oh, and lots of people, of course!
We have enjoyed the one held in March on the eastern side of Kyoto many times. However, we had never been to one held in December in Arashiyama, the opposite side of Kyoto. Not until last weekend, that is. To be honest, my expectations weren't all that high. My favorite part of Arashiyama is the temples but most of them would be closed in the evening so...
Well, I should have known better. It was fantastic! We had to be creative to avoid the worst of the crowds but it was certainly worth the effort. The bamboo forest was much more dramatic than I expected and the various illumination installations and ikebana arrangements along the route were quite beautiful.
Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was visiting Hogonin Temple. The temple grounds were lit up and the the fall foliage was spectacular. I have wandered through this area multiple times but had no idea the temple was even there. I will most certainly be back.
You are always full of surprises.
Arashiyama Hantouro Illumination Homepage: http://www.hanatouro.jp/e/arashiyama/
Top Photo: Hogonin Temple grounds
Bottom Photo: An ikebana arrangement on the way to the temple
This was also taken at Yoshimine Temple and gives an idea of the view from the temple grounds. In the distance you can see southern Kyoto.
Today we spent the afternoon meandering through the grounds of Yoshimine Temple on the outskirts of Kyoto, marveling at the vibrant fall colours. This temple isn't on any "autumn foliage viewing" list that I know of so, although it was quite busy, thankfully there were no crowds and we could enjoy the grounds at our leisure. The fall foliage and the views of Kyoto were spectacular! Ah, such a glorious day!!
(No, I did not manipulate the colours in the image below, or use a filter. No, it was just that kind of a day today - a day of blue skies, beautiful light, and the most amazing fall colours.)
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.