Friday, January 22, 2016

Japan Solo // Kyoto: Momiji Night Tour

A fellow hostel mate told me that certain temples are open for night viewing. This only happens during momijigari (the fall leaves season) so of course I had to go! I visited two. They close the temple after normal operating hours then reopen it again for the night. You do need to pay an entrance fee and only certain parts of the temple are open. Some weren't cheap (1000 yen!) so you'll want to pick and choose if you're on a budget.


This was the most crowded temple; probably because it's already one of the most popular ones. Honestly, none of it was that great or different than the daytime, but I felt obligated to do it because you can't at any other time.

That was the "illumination". Pretty much the same as the illumination in Korankei. I guess it's more about the romantic idea of strolling a temple at night with someone.

There was massive crowding on the bridge to get this view. Tip: ignore everyone standing and move forward toward the bridge, then when you're on it wait for someone to leave and take their spot. You'll save a lot of idle time. Or you can be impatient like me and just raise your camera above everyone's heads. You'll get the shot above.

Not really sure where that beam of light was directed. At first I thought it was to illuminate the main hall, but it doesn't seem like so in the pictures.


The illumination entrance fee was 1000 yen if I remember correctly, but I had never visited this temple before so I paid anyway.
A few trees had changed colors here, but many had already lost their leaves. This temple was a bit different because it had statues, which gave it a more Western feel, even if the statue was of Guanyi and it's a Buddhist temple.

So are the night illuminations overrated? Yeah. But I'd still recommend going to one because it's a rare event and people are so excited about it that it's infectious. 

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