More images the projection mapping event at Heian Jingu in Kyoto that we visited last week. If you'd like to know more, please see the previous post.
By the way, the official name of the event is "Naked Yorumoude Heian Jingu". "Naked" is the name of the production company, and "yorumode" is a combination of the words "yoru (evening)" and "moude (pilgrimage)".
Since mid-December, Heian Jingu in Kyoto has been opening its temple grounds in the evenings for an immersive experience of light and sound and, wow, it was magical! Throughout the grounds were various projection mapping displays and illuminated art installations and we slowly made our way through them, marveling at the beauty and creativity. This event has almost come to an end but if Heian Jingu repeats this next year, I highly recommend a visit.
English information and some lovely photos: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/528132
1 minute promotion video: www.adfwebmagazine.jp/en/art/naked-yormoude-heian-jingu-2022-by-naked-at-heian-jingu-kyoto/
(Taking photos was a challenge with the continually changing light and the bitter cold. I'm still not confident taking photos in situations such as these but thankfully I did get a few good photos.)
For many years, some of the more famous temples and shrines in Japan have been featuring light up events as a way to encourage people to visit during the off season. These events have been especially popular in Kyoto and, prepandemic, brought in hordes of tourists. Well, times have changed and there are few tourists to be seen these days. However, light up events have continued to be popular and many smaller temples and shrines have started to offer light up events as well. It offers encouragement to the local community and draws in visitors from nearby. And since it's all outdoors, people feel relatively safe even during these uncertain times.
One such light-up event was held this fall at Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine, on the very edge of Kyoto Prefecture. We arrived just as the blue hour was fading and I was surprised at how few people there were. (Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised since we were there on a weeknight and it was to be held over a long period of time.) We enjoyed the growing darkness and the magic of lighting. Ah, so lovely!
For more about Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine: https://osaka-info.jp/en/discover-kansai/iwashimizu-hachimangu-yawata/
For more about light up events in Kyoto, 2021: https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/temples-and-shrines-in-kyoto-are-holding-evening-illuminations-this-autumn-101321 (There's a beautiful photo of the shrine during this light-up event.)
Interesting fact: Thomas Edison used bamboo from this shrine in the course of making the first light bulb! For more about that, scroll to the bottom of this website: https://travel.gaijinpot.com/iwashimizu-hachimangu-shrine/
I was fascinated by this handle which was on a small standing structure on the grounds of Matsunoo Taisha Shrine in Arashiyama, Kyoto. It was surprisingly small and I loved the care given to the design - those two symmetrical dragon heads and the lovely scales on the main section. I wonder about who designed it and who made it (the same person?), and what considerations where made during the process. Ah, so beautiful... Thank you, whoever you were! (I image it is quite old but, to be honest, I don't really know.)
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
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.