During the time of Kiyomizu Temple Special Night Viewing the historic temple buildings are bathed in light
Kiyomizu Temple is the most famous temple in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto, and the temple is always bustling with tourists. In spring, summer, and autumn Special Night Viewing events are held at the temple and it is illuminated with gentle light, and a blue beam of light is shot into the sky from the temple, symbolizing the merciful heart of Kannon. The main hall, a national treasure, and the stage of Kiyomizu Temple, the Niomon Gate, and the Three-Storied Pagoda are also illuminated, and together with the mysterious atmosphere, they make the temple feel completely different from what it feels during the daytime. In spring the cherry blossoms are illuminated, in summer it is time for the Thousand-day Pilgrimage and Special Viewing of Nainaijin in the Main Hall, and in autumn the autumn leaves of the temple are illuminated. This event is sure to be something you have to put on your itinerary.
*The Main Hall of Kiyomizu Temple is under renovation work through 2020, so you cannot see the temple like it looks in this picture, but you can still participate in the Special Night Viewing.
Spring Special Night Viewing
There are actually two night viewing events at Kiyomizu Temple in spring, the first being Higashiyama Hanatoro, an event where the whole area of Higashiyama is illuminated by lanterns and the second is when the cherry blossoms bloom between late March and early April. The way the cherry blossoms and the temple are illuminated makes the atmosphere at the temple feel mysterious.
Autumn Special Night Viewing
The Autumn Special Night Viewing is held in November, when the autumn leaves are at their very best. The vermillion leaves and the illuminated temple are a grand view to behold.
Sennichimairi – Thousand-day Pilgrimage
During the summer event Sennichimairi, you not only get to see the temple illuminated, but it is said that if you pray at the temple, you get the same blessing as you would get if you prayed at the temple for 1000 days. You also get to go to the inner part of the Main Hall, Nainaijin, and see the votive lanterns there. Many locals also take part in the Buddhist ceremonies held at the temple during this time, once during daytime and once more at night.