Jul. 24, 2018 UPDATE

Let’s go see cherry blossoms at night in Kyoto! Rokkaku-do Illumination and Ikenobo Ikebana Spring Exhibition

Rokkaku-do Temple is the birthplace of ikebana, and each year in spring they have a special illumination event with exquisite works of ikebana art on display.
Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Rokkaku-do Temple is located in the middle of Kyoto, and at it, you can see an ikebana exhibition by Ikenobo every spring, and step into the wondrous world of flower arrangement. Walking through the darkness, you gradually get to see the beautiful ikebana works in all their glory in the romantic atmosphere of the temple. Let’s go see some flower arrangements by the founders of the craft, Ikenobono! 


Ikenobono are the originators of the art of ikebana, and every year at Rokkaku-do Temple they hold a spring exhibition. At Ikenobo Headquarters you can see over 1,000 ikebana arrangements. 


This time we chose to first see the temple illumination, and right after stepping onto the temple grounds we got to see this pine-arrangement welcoming us with its vivid green color. 


The temple’s official name is Choho-ji, but it’s better known as Rokkaku-do, the name meaning hexagonal, and coming from the hexagonal shape of its main hall. This temple is well known because of its relations with the Ikenobo school of ikebana. 


These little lanterns light up the night; so magical! And these willows you can see in the picture are actually called “Rokkaku-willows” and they’re said to help you find a partner. This is believed because in the distant past, an emperor came here and prayed for a good marriage, and his wish came true! 


On this white wall you can see light shows. You get to see the bamboo grove of Arashiyama and the pink cherry blossoms of Kyoto! So pretty! 


It’s just like walking in the bamboo grove! So artistic; color me impressed! I just stayed still and looked at the beautiful light show for minutes. 


This ikebana artwork contains two trees planted in sand and it’s in the style of arranging popular in the late Edo and Meiji periods. 


On top of the inner pond, you can see cherry blossoms on an illuminated pedestal. At night the cherry blossoms look beautiful enough. Just like a superstar, the beautiful night cherry blossoms are something that most people want to go see. 


This ikebana artwork has one tree and it looks very bold, and its thick trunk is the point of this work. 


And behind it, you can see the 16 rakan-statues of Rokkaku-do and their smiling faces. This is one of the highlights of the temple! 


These white flowers are transformed by the illuminations, and take on a more mysterious purple look. When you add the historic feel of Rokkaku-do Temple to this, you have something that purifies your soul and clears the mind. Getting to see these beautiful, artistic scenes at night is really special! 

A comment from the staff
Vanessa
The art of ikebana was invented by the Ikenobo school, so their artwork is of course beautiful. But when you get to see it at night at a historic temple, everything just feels that much more special! Although this event is only held for four days, it’s still very popular. If you couldn’t go see it this year, how about going to see it next year when the cherry blossoms bloom again?
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