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'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.