Visiting Shrines at Night

by Mariko - Japan Licensed Guide

Did you know that you can visit Shinto shrines after sunset?

Except for a few big shrines such as Yasaka shrine in Gion district, shrines usually close at sunset.  However, there is always a way to get in there - Festivals.  At Shimogamo shrine, one of the many UNESCO world heritage sights in Kyoto, there was a traditional festival that ran through day and night.  During this festival, the visitors were able to go into the sacred pond to purify themselves.  The festival is now over, but there is another chance!  On August 7th, there is another festival at the same shrine and takes place in the evening.  It is a great opportunity to take a look at a shrine in the dark decorated by hundreds of lights!



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28 Jul 2015


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