Kodai-ji Temple Night Illumination and Night Viewing

Kodai-ji Temple Night Illumination and Night Viewing

Night Illumination and Night Viewing at Kodai-ji Temple is presented here. Kodai-ji Temple offers night illumination (lighting up) and night viewing during the cherry blossom season in the spring, Tanabata-e in July, Tomyo-e in August, and the fall foliage season in the autumn. Kodai-ji Temple also holds Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai in the autumn.

【Kodai-ji Temple Night Illumination and Night Viewing 2023 Schedule】

★Spring Illumination (Cherry Blossoms) : March 17th (Friday) – May 7th (Sunday), 2023, 17:00 – 22:00 (Registration closes at 21:30)
★Autumn Illumination (Autumn Leaves) : October 21st (Saturday) – December 10th (Sunday), 2023, 17:00 – 22:00 (Registration closes at 21:30)
★Tanabata-e : July 1st (Saturday) – July 2nd (Sunday), 2023, 17:00 – 22:00 (Registration closes at 21:30)
★Tomyo-e : August 1st (Tuesday) – August 18th (Friday), 2023, 17:00 – 21:30
★Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai : September 8th (Friday) – September 30th (Sunday) (only Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), 2023, 17:00 – (Advance reservations are required.)

【Kodai-ji Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 526 Shimogawara-cho, Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Higashiyama-Yasui bus stop (about 5 minutes on foot), Keihan Gion Shijo Station (about 12 minutes on foot), Hankyu Kyoto Kawaramachi Station (about 15 minutes on foot)

【Kodai-ji Temple Night Illumination and Night Viewing brief overview】

Kodai-ji Temple offers night illumination (lighting up) and night viewing during the cherry blossom season in the spring, Tanabata-e in July, Tomyo-e in August, and the fall foliage season in the autumn. Kodai-ji Temple also holds Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai in the autumn. Near Kodai-ji Temple, Entoku-in Temple, which is the sub-temple of Kodai-ji Temple, offers night illumination and night viewing are to coincide with the cherry blossom season and the fall foliage season.
Kodai-ji Temple is a popular tourist attraction in Kyoto, so it is visited by many tourists on a regular basis, but even more tourists visit during the cherry blossom season and the autumn foliage seasons. Kodai-ji Temple is located near Gion, which is Kyoto’s representative Hanamachi (Kagai) district and the downtown, and is popular with both domestic and international tourists. Visitors can enjoy eating, drinking, and sightseeing in Gion and then visit Kodai-ji Temple, or enjoy eating and drinking after visiting Kodai-ji Temple.
Entoku-in Temple originated when Kita-no-Mandokoro, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, planned the construction of Kodai-ji Temple to mourn Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and in 1605, Kesho Goten (palace) of Fushimi Castle and its front garden were moved to live there. Kita-no-Mandokoro spent 19 years in Kesho Goten until her death in 1624, and when Kita-no-Mandokoro died, her nephew, Kinoshita Toshifusa, the 2nd feudal lord of Bichu Ashimori-han, took over Kesho Goten and named it Enko-in. Entoku-in Temple was founded by Kinoshita Toshifusa in 1632 and was made a sub-temple of Kodai-ji Temple, making it the family temple of the Kinoshita family.

【Spring Illumination (Cherry Blossoms, 桜) and Night Viewing】

Kodai-ji Temple is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Kyoto. About 50 cherry trees, including Kodaiji-zakura, Somei Yoshino, weeping cherry trees, Yama-zakura, and Yae-zakura, are planted on the temple grounds, and the best time to see the cherry blossoms is usually around early April. (The best time to see the cherry blossoms depends on the climate of the year.) The weeping cherry tree planted in Hashin-tei garden, the front garden of Hojo, is said to be beautiful. It is said that the weeping cherry tree in Hashin-tei garden, with its branches hanging down on the white sand, is compared to the graceful Kyo-bijin (Kyoto beauty).
Spring illumination (lighting up) and night viewing (night opening) are held from late March, when the cherry blossoms bloom, to early May, when the Golden Week holiday ends. The period is relatively long, about 6 weeks. Depending on the time of year, visitors may not be able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms illuminated. The illuminated weeping cherry tree in Hashin-tei garden is beautiful. During spring illumination, projection mapping may be held in Hashin-tei garden.
Spring illumination ticket price : Adults 600 yen, High school and Junior High School Students 250 yen (as of 2023)
高台寺桜ライトアップ (Kodai-ji Temple Spring Illumination)

【Autumn Illumination (Autumn Leaves, 紅葉) and Night Viewing】

Kodai-ji Temple is a popular autumn leaves viewing spot in Kyoto. About 1,000 maple trees, including Yama-momiji and Iroha-momiji, are distributed around the temple grounds, and the best time to see the autumn leaves is usually from mid-November to late November. (The best time to see the fall foliage depends on the climate of the year.) At Kodai-ji Temple, it is said that the scenery such as the pond walking garden, Garyu-ike Pond, and Garyu-ro (corridor) colored with fall foliage is beautiful. At Unkyoan, a resting place on the south side of the precincts, you can enjoy matcha while admiring the autumn leaves.
Autumn illumination (lighting up) and night viewing (night opening) are held from late October, when the autumn leaves begin to change color, to early December. The period is relatively long, about 6 weeks. Depending on the time of year, visitors may not be able to see the beautiful illumination of the autumn leaves. The illuminated Garyu-ike Pond, Garyu-ro (corridor), and other areas are said to be beautiful. During autumn illumination, projection mapping may be held in Hashin-tei garden.
Autumn illumination ticket price : Adults 600 yen, High school and Junior High School Students 250 yen (as of 2023)
高台寺紅葉ライトアップ (Kodai-ji Temple Autumn Illumination)

【Tanabata-e (七夕会) and Night Viewing】

Tanabata-e (Tanabata Festival) is held every year on Saturday and Sunday around July 7th. During Tanabata-e, the temple grounds are decorated with bamboo decorations with wishes written on tanzaku (pape) and illuminated from sunset. The bamboo decorations are decorated with tanzaku (pape) by kindergarten children and others from all over Japan. Tanabata Chakai (tea ceremony) is also held, where tea seats are set up.

【Tomyo-e (燈明会) and Night Viewing】

Tomyo-e is held every year from August 1st to August 18th. Tomyo-e is held in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and hundreds of mourning lanterns are lit until August 18th, the anniversary of his death. During Tomyo-e, the gardens and other areas may be illuminated and projection mapping may be held.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi was born in 1537 as the son of Kinoshita Yaemon, an ashigaru for Oda Nobunaga, and Naka (Tenzuiin). Toyotomi Hideyoshi served Oda Nobunaga in 1554 and married Kita-no-Mandokoro (Nene), the adopted daughter of Asano Nagakatsu, in 1561. He then distinguished himself in a series of successful battles and defeated Akechi Mitsuhide at the Battle of Yamazaki in 1582, following the Honnoji-no-Hen (incident) in which Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled against Oda Nobunaga. After that, Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered Shikoku, Kyushu, Kanto and Ou and achieved the unification of Japan in 1590. Toyotomi Hideyoshi then began the Bunroku-Keicho-no-Eki in 1592 with the aim of conquering China, but died in Fushimi Castle in 1598 at the age of 62.

【Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai (秋の夜の観月茶会) and Night Viewing】

Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai (Autumn Night Moon Viewing Tea Ceremony) is held every autumn. At Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai, visitors can enjoy the autumn moon, the sound of insects, and autumn grasses. During Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai, visitors enjoy powdered green tea at Kogetsu-an and view the illuminated garden. visitors also enjoy tenshin from Kodaiji Hashiba and coffee and tea from Ishibei. Akinoyono Kangetsu Chakai is held because Kangetsu-daiform (Important Cultural Property) where Toyotomi Hideyoshi used to view the moon at Fushimi Castle has been moved.

【Kodai-ji Temple brief overview】

On the site where Kodai-ji Temple (高台寺) is located, Gansei-in Temple, said to have been founded by Mitsumoto Hosokawa, was once built. On September 18th, 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi died at Fushimi Castle. Kodai-ji Temple was founded in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro to mourn her husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi, with Kyushin Zenkyou as its founder. Originally, Kita-no-Mandokoro wanted to mourn Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Kotoku-ji Temple, where her mother had been mourned, but because Kotoku-ji Temple was too small. Therefore, Gansei-in Temple, which was located at the present site of Kodai-ji Temple, was moved to the grounds of Nanzen-ji Temple as a sub-temple, and then Kotoku-ji Temple was moved to the site of Gansei-in Temple, where Kodai-ji Temple was founded.
Kodai-ji Temple (location,history)

【Kodai-ji Temple Night Illumination and Night Viewing remarks】
Always check with the organizer for event information. Information on this site is for reference only. Contents of the event may have changed.
京都紅葉ライトアップ2024

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