Nov. 12, 2019 UPDATE
Honpo-ji Temple Night Illumination- 本法寺ライトアップ -
The temple is only a 10-minute walk from the closest station and because the temple is off-the-beaten-path you get to look at the illumination at your own pace.
Japanese, but they can give you a paper with some information about the temple in English.
Japanese, and a little bit of English.
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PeriodNovember 15-17, 22-24, 29-30 December 1, 6-8
Story & Recommendation
Honpo-ji Temple’s beautiful garden takes on a completely new look at night during this illumination event
Honpo-ji Temple is a temple with a long history just a 10-minute walk away from subway Kuramaguchi Station. The temple itself was founded in the Muromachi period of Japan, in 1432. The temple is most famous for the huge Buddha Nirvana Picture it houses and the Mitsudomoe no Niwa rock garden designed by the great patron of arts, Koetsu Hon’ami. The Buddha Nirvana Picture was painted by Tohaku Hasegawa, and it is one of the biggest paintings in Kyoto at 10 meters in length and 6 meters in width. The temple is big and its ground vast and it’s normally not crowded at all. In autumn there is a night illumination event at the temple, and the famous Mitsudomoe no Niwa and other parts of the temple are illuminated by LED lights letting you see them in a literally new light.
Mitsudomoe no Niwa
The Mitsudomoe no Niwa is exceptional, and the time we were at the temple we got to see some autumn leaves too. They also have ikebana-flowers at the temple, making the atmosphere feel even more Japanese. The color of the lights changes often, and so does the feel at the temple. Looking at the garden, and walking around the temple, you can truly feel the beauty of nature.
Tsunashi no Niwa
The Tsunashi no Niwa rock garden is also illuminated at night and the atmosphere is completely different compared to normal. The garden takes on a new, more colorful look, and looking at the garden from the corridor, you feel like you had found a good old friend again.
Colorful Japanese parasols
On both sides of the path to the gate of the temple there are colorful Japanese parasols which are illuminated beautifully. The feeling is mysterious, and even a bit majestic. But still, this should be the starting point of your visit to Honpo-ji Temple, but do remember to take a picture of the parasols for Instagram!
The reflection in the corridor
On the way to the Mitsudomoe no Niwa garden, you’ll get to see the illuminated treed reflected in the floor of the corridor. The sight is so beautiful that most people have to stop here for a moment to take in the beautiful scenery.