The night opening of the temple Kitano Tenman-gu is from August, 1st to 14 from sunset until 21h. But the special ceremony for Kyo no Tanabata only takes place the nights between August, 12 and 14. The ceremony is called Ishi-no-ma. The ceremony consisted of a fruit offering by visitors (if they want), an exhibition of costumes, reading mantras by monks ... It is possible to buy the fruit directly at the temple for 1000 yen. Between August, 12 and 14, the temple organizes a day ceremony as from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. , called Mitarashigawa Ashitsuke. It is a ceremony in which paper lanterns are lit and placed in the river Mitarashigawa.
The illuminations of the temple make the atmosphere magical. The temple is vermilion color and the lighting showcases the magnificent structure of the temple. From the Gate Kitanomon on the street Imadegawa Dori, booths of food and game are installed all along the way. Then after passing the front door of the temple, the bamboo are placed on the two sides of the way, so visitors can hang their wishes for Tanabata. Some events are organized by the temple the first half of August. We have been the last day and really at the last minute, but it was a very nice memory. The effects of light and shadow on the vermilion color gave a mystical side to the temple. We found the atmosphere super nice. There were still many people to visit this temple and take the opportunity to purify into the water of the river Mitarashigawa or just dabble a little in water. It was pretty fun.
There we are! This is the end of our series on Kyo no Tanabata, the festival celebrating the stars Altair and Vega. The lights of the city at that time are beautiful and it is even possible that they offer you a free souvenir if you go in wearing a Kimono or Yukata.