愛宕古道街道灯しAtago Furumichi Kaido Toboshi is a late-summer festival from August 23-25 every year since about 20 years ago in the 嵯峨Saga area; the path from 清凉寺Seiryo-ji Temple up to 一の鳥居Ichinotorii, the first gate, of 愛宕神社Atago Shrine is lined with about 800 handmade paper lanterns of many themes by the locals, school students and students of 京都嵯峨芸術大学Kyoto Saga University of Art. With the cooperation of the 嵯峨野保勝会Board of Sagano, 瀬戸内寂聴氏Setouchi Jakucho and Kyoto Saga University of Art, the event was created to welcome visitors of 化野念仏寺Adashinonenbutsu-ji Temple and stir up excitement for local 地蔵盆Jizo-bon festivities. The event is from 6:00-9:00pm, well, at least that’s what time it was when I’ve gone. In 2007 and 2008, I went with Mr. Man who first informed me of the event; in 2009 I asked Laurel and Margaret to go with me but we only went half the way because it was during the middle of a work week and we wanted to call it a night early.
2007: a lantern with the name of the event at 清凉寺Seiryo-ji Temple
the lanterns surrounding Seiryo-ji in 2007,
in 2008 when it was darker
and in 2009 with more golden-hued lanterns
2008: This lantern depicts the mountains of fall in the 嵯峨Saga area.
the lantern-lined roads in 2007
and in 2008
2007: Despite the chance of rain around this season (it was clear in 2007 and 2009, though), quite a few of these lanterns are lit with real fire.
2007: a dome-shaped lantern (often outside of shops) with summer maple leaves
2009: there were quite a few clusters at the beginning of the route from what I saw this year.
2007: This area (kind of like a tiny park) seemed to be made into a lagoon with a turtle (in the middle) and a creature that looks like a dragon (the head is at the right and the tail is at the left) in 2007
while in 2009 it was just a grove of lanterns.
2007: The row of lanterns were more dense in this area.
2007: an area of shops at the end of which is a Japanese-style restaurant, 鳥居本遊山Toriimoto Yusan
2008: the lanterns outside of Toriimoto Yusan
2008: there were even hanging lanterns this year.
2008: I particularly liked this one of cute little jizous.
2008: another grove of lanterns
2007: the gate of 愛宕神社Atago Shrine
2007: These lanterns were strung on the bridge of a road that passes overhead…ahead is the way to 清滝Kiyotaki Waterfall, another spot to see in 嵐山Arashiyama.
2008: 平野屋Hirano-ya, a Japanese-style restaurant and teahouse by Ichinotorii
For the next four years, I always remembered the event AFTER it had passed but I was back on track this year, remembering it before I could miss it again…it was the first time that I went alone and I got to Seiryo-ji Temple at the time that the event started.
one of the lanterns in front of 民宿 嵯峨菊Sagagiku, a private-home lodging…after this shot, it started pouring.
The rain was so bad that I stopped in at あだし野Adashino, a Japanese-style restaurant formerly an inn over 150 years old, to wait out the rain.
There were a group of Asian female tourists sitting at this table when I arrived but they left before I even got my order, so I had the place to myself.
the Japanese-style seating behind my table
I ordered a クリームみつ豆kuriimu mitsu mame, a mixture of boiled beans, 寒天kanten (vegetable gelatin), fruit pieces and syrup with green-tea ice cream, ￥630, while I waited.
The dessert was light and refreshing, of course tasty, too; although I was wet from the rain, I was still quite hot from the humid late-summer weather. The kind staff even gave me a towel with which to wipe myself off. Although the rain stopped just as I got my order, I didn’t regret making this unexpected stop at all.
opening ceremony in a park-like area
cloudy sky + lanterns = romantic
the more commercial area
The beauty continues.
under the bridge
a path of stairs that lead to the larger road above
くるくるナイトマーケットKuru Kulu Night Market where one can find unique handmade wares only for the first two nights of the event from 4:00-8:00pm (I think this market started from last year.)
walking back the way I came
the park-like area with だるまdaruma (a hollow, round Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, for good luck) lanterns
a depiction of 渡月橋Togetsukyo
the big lanterns in front of Seiryo-ji (they weren’t lighted when I first arrived)
I always take so many pictures but these are the ones I thought were exceptional enough to share. Whether you go with friends or alone, the event is so lovely that it’ll leave an ache in your heart, in a good way.☺
Update: Here are some of the notable aspects of Atago Furumichi Kaido Toboshi from 2015 when I went on the first night of the event and 2016 when I went on the second day…besides the lantern illustrations being different yet again, not much had changed with the usual shops open, Adashino Nebutsu-ji Temple open and the Kuru Kulu Night Market on.
2015: 亀kame (turtle) and 鶴tsuru (crane), two symbols of long life in Japan, on the lanterns in front of Seiryo-ji Temple
2015: handmade bookmarks and wall decorations with inspirational messages being sold at 證安院Shoan-in Temple…I was tempted to buy some!
2015: the full picture of Hachitaijizou (in 2016 the lanterns were covered by a plastic sheet due to a rainy forecast)
Going down that road on the left in the picture above, one will come upon a small path that leads up to another grove of lanterns…I don’t know why I never noticed this area in years before but as of 2015 this is definitely on my route.
2016: the entrance from the road…the theme appeared to be “Animals” to me…
2016: or “Zoo”.☺
2015: the view of the lanterns (I assumed the theme was “Luck” this year) from the opposite side
2015: this is the path from the lantern grove that I took to get back on the main route.
2016: this is the view from the opposite way.
2015: going back for a shot after dark, from the road
2015: a ひょっとこ踊りhyottoko-odori (“droll fellow” dance) procession down to the area for the opening ceremony
2015: under the bridge with the Kuru Kulu Night Market on the right
2015: the park-like area with lanterns that looked like friendly monsters
2016: I started seeing these lanterns (hung close to 慈眼堂Jigendo Temple) as of 2015.