Kyoto Illumination Event Calendar 2017

Historical and prestigious temples/shrines are the main sightseeing destinations in Kyoto. 17 of them are designated as World Heritage Sites.

Shorenin Temple Illumination
Shorenin Temple Illumination

Although visiting as many spots as possible is ideal, most of them close at 16:00 – 17:00 (and usually visiting 30 minutes before closing time is required). So, even waking up early and trying to visit these spots in the most efficient way, it may not be possible to see more than 4 places a day.
Fortunately, several temples/shrines host illumination events for limited time periods. Summer and fall are the most popular periods for this type of event. So if interested in seeing historical buildings such as temples and shrines under colorful lights, be sure to check the following calender.

NOTE: Although the following data reflects the latest information, they might change slightly year by year. So before visiting, please check the event websites.

Spring

Higashiyama Hanatoro Event
Kiyomizu Area including Kiyomizudera Temple, Ninenzaka/Sannenzaka slopes, Yasaka Tower, Kodaiji Temple, Maruyama Park, Yasaka Shrine, Chionin Temple, Shorenin Temple are lit up 3/3 – 3/12 (2017) 18:00 – 21:30

Kiyomizudera Temple 3/3 – 3/12, 3/25 – 4/9 (2017) 18:30 – 21:30 (400yen)
Shorenin Temple 3/12 – 3/15 (2015), 3/27 – 4/5, 4/25 – 5/6 (2015) 18:00-21:30 (800yen)
Kodaiji Temple 3/12 – 5/8 (2016) 17:00-21:30 (600yen)
Nijo Castle 3/25 – 4/17 (2016) 18:00 – 21:00 (400yen) 18:00-21:00 (400yen)
Toji Temple 3/18 – 4/16 (2017) 18:00 – 21:00 (500yen)
Maruyama Park 3/13 – 4/12 (2015) Sunset-1:00 a.m.
Arashiyama Nakanoshima Park Middle of March – Middle of April Sunset-22:00
Hirano Shrine Sunset-22:00 Note that illumination period changes every year depending on the cherry blossoms.

Summer

Kibune Shrine 7/1 – 8/15 (2016) Sunset-20:00 (21:00 on weekends and National holidays) Note that the bus finishes on 17:10. So taking a taxi or walking to the shrine from Kibuneguchi station is required (2 km).
Gion Festival 7/14 – 7/16 (Anterior Festival) & 7/21 – 7/23 (Posterior Festival) 18:00-23:00 (Yoiyoiyama & Yoiyama)
Kodaiji Temple 8/1 – 8/18 (2015) Sunset-21:30 (600yen)
Kiyomizudera Temple 8/14 – 8/16 (2017) 19:00 – 21:30 (400yen)
Okuribi Bonfire (Six spots (on several mountains) in Kyoto city) 8/16 20:00 – 20:40
Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge Floating Lanterns 8/16 19:00-21:00

Fall/Winter

Sagano Sightseeing Tram Middle of October – Beginning of December
Take trains leave Torokko Sagano Station 16:00 – 18:00 (1240 yen for round trip)
Kodaiji Temple 10/21 – 12/11 (2016) Sunset – 21:30 (600yen)
Shorenin Temple 10/28 – 12/4 (2016) 18:00 – 21:30 (800yen)
Chionin Temple 11/3 – 12/4 (2016) 17:30 – 21:00 (800yen)
Eikando Temple 11/8 – 12/4 (2016) 17:30-20:00 (600yen)
Daikakuji Temple 11/11 – 12/4 (2016) 17:30 – 20:00 (500yen)
Kiyomizudera Temple 11/11 – 12/3 (2017) 18:30-21:30 (400yen)
Hogonin Temple 11/11 – 12/4 (2016) 17:30-20:15 (600yen)
Kitano Tenmangu (Red Maple Garden) 11/12 – 12/4 (2016) Sunset – 20:00 (700yen with a cup green tea and traditional sweet)

Arashiyama Hanatoro Event

Arashiyama Area including Nisonin Temple, Jojakkoji Temple, Rakushisha, Nonomiya Shrine, Tenryuji Temple, and Togetsukyo Bridge will be illuminated.
12/9 – 12/18 (2016) 17:00-20:30

If you are looking for useful resources about sightseeing in Kyoto, check out our FREE EBooks, or consider purchasing our Kyoto Guidebook PDF.

Or if you rather want to read the guidebook on your Kindle e-book reader or application, then get our Kyoto e-Guidebook on Amazon instead.

Last Updated: January 3rd 2017