The serene forest in Shimogamo shrine (tadasuno mori) changes into the colorful illumination from August 17th to 31st.
It started from this summer 2016, and they plan to continue this forever as the late summer event in Kyoto.
Since we also have the illumination in Kitanotenmangu shrine in the early August, there are many night illuminations in summer Kyoto. It might be more than Christmas.
Although most of the visitors were couple and family, I went there alone.
The summer illumination in the World heritage site in Kyoto
Since it was Friday night today for the first year of this summer illumination, so many tourists and Kyoto citizen were visiting.
I felt it was more like Disney Land or Universal Studio than the traditional shrine.
Hearing the calm music, it was a little curious that I felt like being in the aquarium even though it’s in the forest…
Some people were talking “It was lucky enough to be in Kyoto at this time!”
It’s really popular among couple & family.
The witching night in summer @Shimogamo shrine
Actually, it’s serene and cool forest even in summer usually.
It’s one of the safe and great places to bring small children.
I was surprised a lot to see this new artistic forest.
Since we are accustomed to the gentle light from Japanese lantern, it was like a magic to create such a new space.
The changing colors might represent the seasons in Japan.
Summer illumination festival at Shimogamo shrine
Ausugt 17th to 31st
I’ve heard they will show us the more artistic illumination of “balls” only in Saturdays & Sundays in the term. It sounds interesting.
The small Japanese café in the forest of Shimogamo shrine
Saruya is the unique Japanese café in the forest opened in Aoi festival day (May) in 2011. I often saw the attractive Japanese style building walking to the shrine to pray for the New Year or join the special tea ceremony in June.
It was the first time for me to enter today.
I tried sweet dumplings made of beans and rice cake called “Saru mochi”, which is the main sweet for Saruya café.
Saru means monkey, but it doesn’t mean the real monkey shape, but the day of the monkey on lunar calendar. Since Aoi festival had been held for a month in May till Edo period (now it’s only one day in May 15th ), the special “saru mochi” was offered in front of the shrine god to wish our health in the day of monkey in May ( of Japan’s old calendar).
It came to life again after 140 years interval from Edo period.
They were served on the special plate made of wood called “Aoi plate” like the one used for the shrine god. And the cup for the brown tea has the pretty paintings of Asarum caulescens, the symbol plant for Shimogamo shrine.
Saruya is irregularly open till night during the illumination event.
59 Izumigawa-cho Shimogamo Sakyo-ku Kyoto
Business hour: 10:00～16:30