Illumination in Kyoto

May 15, 2017

by Haruka Onishi and Natsumi Hosono

It has become second nature to enjoy Christmas illumination every winter for Japanese people. How did this come about? According to one research (1), the origin of Christmas illumination dates back to the 16 century , when electricity still hadn’t been developed. In Germany, Martin Luther was impressed to see shining stars in the forest and tried to reproduce the beautiful scenery by decorating trees with candles. Afterward, Thomas Alva Edison started bulb illumination. He decorated his laboratory with incandescent light bulbs to advertise his invention. It is said that his decoration is the first bulb illumination in the world.

About 150 years ago, in the Meiji era, illumination came to Japan. Meijiya, the company that sold foreign goods at the time, started turning on illumination every night from December 15th until Christmas day. This event attracted public attention and people started flocking to see the flashy illumination every year. Now, we can see illumination all over Japan every winter. The warm light heals our heart and gives us a feeling of peace.

Then, we will give you some information about illumination in Kyoto that we recommend to you.

Gojo Street Illumination

Gojo street illumination

Gojo street illumination

The Gojo Street Illumination is put on by the ROHM company, a Japanese semiconductor maker. This display first appeared in 1995 as a contribution to society. It is usually held between November 25th to December 25th from 17:00~22:00 of every year. More than 80 trees are decorated with more than 80,000 light bulbs. The main point of interest in this illumination is a tree-lined road. It is free to see, and people like to go there with someone special.

Arashiyama Illumination


Arashiyama illumination

The illumination display in Arashiyama is called Hanatouro. “Hana” means flower, “tou” means light, and “ro” means road. Its main concept is to color the nights of Kyoto with flowers and lights. This event has been held since 2005. This illumination is held from 17:00 to 20:30 in every year. About 2500 LED bulbs are used in this illumination. Moreover the road is decorated by a lot of flowers and it is beautiful. Moreover, the path through the bamboo forest is also lit up which expresses a sense of the Christmas season in Kyoto. Therefore we can enjoy walking down paths filled with a Japanese atmosphere.

Rurikei Hot Spring Illumination

Ruri Kei illumination

Ruri Kei illumination

The Rurikei Hot Spring illumination is called Illumiere. This term is a combination of ‘illumination’ in English and ‘limiere’ in French, which means ‘light’. They want to give peace and hope to people all over the world from Kyoto through this illumination. It has been held since 2012, from October 29th to April 9th after sunset to 21:30. However it costs a small fee of \1,000 per person. More than 100 thousand LDE bulbs are used, and it is very beautiful.

Joyo City Illumination


Joyo City illumination

The Joyo City illumination is called TWINKLE JOYO and was started in 2002. This event is held from 17:30 to 21:30 in every year. It was originally held at a large park, but the illumination expanded to the city community center and shopping arcade, a sign of its growing progress. This year is the 15th anniversary, and the number of the bulbs is about 700,000. This display gathers illumination design ideas from various groups and companies. Volunteers decorate the illumination. During the display, a variety of events are held, such as the sale of special local products.

In conclusion, Kyoto has a lot of nice illumination spots, not only these illumination written in this article. However, most of these events in this season have been finished yet. If you have a chance to go to illumination next season, we recommend you go there with your someone special.

Getting There

Gojo Street Illumination

This illumination is located around Kasuga Gojo. Kasuga Street is the west of Kyoto station and Gojo Street is north of Kyoto station. If you are in Kyoto station, first you should take the JR Sagano Sanin Line (#33) and get off at the Tambaguchi station. It costs \140. Then you should take a bus (#32, #43 or #75) and get off at the Nishi-oji- Gojo bus stop. It costs \230. It takes about 10 minutes from Kyoto station to the bus stop.

Arashiyama Illumination

Take the JR Sagano Sanin Line (#33) to Saga Arashiyama station. It takes about 15 minutes and it costs \240. If you are near the Randen station, take the train to Arashiyama, which is the last station on the line.

Rurikei Hot Spring Illumination

Rurikei is in Nantan City, which is in the northwest of Kyoto Prefecture. It is quite far from Kyoto City. If you’d like to go to there, you should use a car. It takes more than 1 hour to get there from the city.

Joyo City Illumination

Take the JR Nara Line to Joyo station. It takes about 30 minutes and it costs \360. From there you should take the private bus – called Joyo SanSan Bus Primein – which takes about 10 minutes.



Japanese Traditional Fishing Method

by Hosono Natsumi and Haruka Onishi

Cormorant Fishing at Night

Ukai, or ‘cormorant fishing’ is a traditional fishing method using a cormorant bird to catch ayu (sweetfish). The season for cormorant fishing is from the middle of May to the middle of October of each year. Interestingly, ukai is often practiced at night. Fishermen make a fire on the fishing boat because ayu have a habit of gathering in lighted places in the dark. This allows the cormorants to catch the fish more easily. However ukai is never practiced on the night of a full moon, because the ayu do not gather around the light of the fire so well. The people who train and control the cormorants are called ‘cormorant fishermen’. The number of cormorants used at one time differ by region and fisherman, but the average number is five to ten. Cormorant fishermen have to know exactly when cormorants swallow the fish so that they can call the cormorants back to the boat and have them regurgitate the fish into a basket.

History of Cormorant Fishing

Cormorant fishing in Japan has a long history. It is unknown who began cormorant fishing. However, a history book published in 712 A.D. mentions cormorant fishing. This suggests that it has been practiced for at least 1300 years or more. Not only do Japan and China have a history of ukai in their cultures, but surprisingly ukai was practiced as a sport in Europe from the 16th to 17th centuries. The fish caught by cormorants lose consciousness in esophagus of the cormorant without injury. This keeps the fish fresh and uninjured, making them highly valued in the marketplace. However, due to its inefficiency in comparison with standard methods of fishing with nets and hooks, the popularity of cormorant fishing gradually decreased over time. Now, it is mostly done in Japan for the tourism industry.


Cormorant in Kyoto

Cormorants are highly intelligent birds and can understand hierarchical relationships. They are about 80 cm in length and have a sharp crooked bill. Therefore they are suited for fishing. Cormorant craftsmen catch wild cormorants.

Wild cormorants are well-trained. Cormorant fishermen take care of them every day for 2 or 3 years. In general, the longevity of a cormorant is from 4 to 5 years, but the cormorants used in Ukai are treated carefully. For this reason, their lifespan is from 15 to 20 years. Cormorant fishermen do their work with the birds around the noon. This practice is what is often shown to the public.

What is the life cormorant fishing like? In the morning, after checking the condition of their birds, the fishermen decide which cormorant take to fishing. In the afternoon, fishermen give the birds free time to relax in the water. The fishermen don’t feed them so much because hungry cormorants can catch their own fish quite well. In the evening, fishermen take chosen cormorants fishing. It is important not to tie their throat too strongly because it will decrease the birds’ motivation. On the other hand, if the rope is too loose, most of fish get swallowed completely. After fishing, fishermen feed and stroke their cormorants to thank them for their efforts.

Cormorant Fishermen

Most cormorant fishermen are born into their craft via long lines of cormorant fishermen. Still, they need a long training period to become fully qualified. First, they need a strong grip and skillful hand movements because the power of cormorants pulling the ropes is quite strong. In addition, it is difficult to make cormorants eject the fish from their throats. This is done by holding the birds’ throats in just the right way. Although cormorant fishing is done only in during the warmer months of the year, fishermen must still take daily care of their birds year round. They have to feed them, take care of their bills, and clean their cages with love.

Where to Observe Cormorant Fishing

The best ukai season is in the summer evenings. If you are interested in observing ukai, you should reserve an ukai tour in advance because it is very popular and crowded. Moreover the road to the spot is also crowded, so you ought to arrive as early as you can.

In Japan, there are about a dozen famous ukai locations, one of them being Kyoto. Kyoto actually has ukai areas, one of them is near the Uji River and the other is near Ooi Arashiyama. But it is the one near Arashiyama that is the most popular.

Getting to Arashiyama

From Kyoto station, take the JR Sagano Sanin Line (#3) to Saga Arasiyama station. It takes about 15 minutes and it costs \240. From the Randen station (Keifuku train), take the train to Arasiyama station, the last stop on that line. On the other hand, if you have One-Day Bus ticket, take the No. 28 bus, which takes about an hour from Kyoto station.




Die Steinfiguren vom Adashino-Nenbutsu-Tempel

Karen Arimoto und Mayu Shimizu


Der Ort Arashiyama in Kyoto ist sehr berühmt wegen seines Bambuswalds, aber es gibt auch noch andere Sehenswürdigkeiten, die man unbedingt besuchen muss, wenn man in Arashiyama ist. Kennen Sie zum Beispiel den Adashino-Nenbutsu-Tempel? Dorthin kann man vom Bambuswald aus in etwa 30 Minuten laufen. Es gibt in diesem Tempel viele Schutzgottheiten und man kann dort zu jeder Jahreszeit verschiedene Naturansichten genießen.


Der Adashino Tempel wurde vor 1100 Jahren erbaut. Im Tempelbezirk gibt es mehr als 8000 Buddhastatuen, die alle Gräber von Verstorbenen waren. Vor langer Zeit standen diese Buddhastatuen überall in diesem Gebiet. Sie wurden von den Bewohnern der Gegend nach und nach gesammelt und in den Tempel gebracht. Im August hält man dort eine Feier zur Totenmesse ab.


Man kann den Tempel von der Bahnstation Arashiyama aus zu Fuß erreichen. Wir sind einmal zu Fuß gegangen, aber es war ein bisschen anstrengend und hat ungefähr 30-40 Minuten gedauert. Also raten wir Ihnen, mit dem Bus zum Adashino Tempel zu fahren. Man kann von der Arashiyama Station bis zur Haltestelle „Toriimoto“ einen Bus nehmen. Die Fahrt kostet 230 Yen und dauert 20 Minuten.


Öffnungszeiten: 9:00 – 16:30 Uhr (von Dezember – Februar nur bis 15:30)

Eintritt: Erwachsene 500 Yen

Mittelschüler / Oberschüler 400 Yen

Kinder unter 12 Jahren kostenlos


durch den Eingang

durch den Eingang



der Weg

der Weg

Und ganz in der Nähe befindet sich ein weiterer Tempel namens Otagi-Tempel.

Dort muss man nur 300 Yen Eintritt bezahlen. Bei unserem Besuch waren wir sehr überrascht von den vielen Steinfiguren, die dort waren, denn wir hatten nicht erwartet, dass diese so groß sein würden. Sie waren etwa 80 cm groß und hatten alle verschiedene Gesichter. Die Steinfiguren haben die Tempelbesucher in der Showazeit gemeißelt, um den Wiederaufbau des Tempels  zu fördern.






hinter von Steinfiguren

Steinfiguren Rückansicht


Wir empfehlen den Otagino-Tempel, weil wir die verschiedenen Gesichter der Steinfiguren sehr interessant fanden. Der Adashino-Nenbutsu-Tempel hat uns ein bisschen Angst gemacht, weil es dort so viele Grabsteine gab. Beide Tempel sind auf jeden Fall einen Besuch wert.



URL : Otagino-Tempel                 


Hanatoro em Arashiyma e Higashiyama

Kei Yamawaki e Misaki Luciana Teruya


HANATORU é o caminho iluminado por lanternas, um dos mais recentes festivais de Quioto. Com início em 2002, este caminho iluminado liga os mais famosos templos desta cidade.

Em Arashiyama, tirando vantagem da beleza da paisagem natural, das florestas de bambu e dos seus monumentos históricos, cerca de cinco quilómetros de caminho são iluminados com lanternas, que oferecem uma perspetiva única a quem por aqui passa. Algumas destas iluminações são colocadas em arranjos florais, um trabalho feito em colaboração com a Associação de Ikebana de Quioto.

k(Bumbo floresta)

kl(ponte de togetsu)

O HANATORU de Arashiyama pode ser apreciado de 9 a 18 de dezembro de 2016, entre as cinco da tarde e as oito da noite.

Pode vir até Harashiyama de autocarro / ônibus (número 28, 11 ou 93) ou de comboio / trem.

Já em Higashiyama são mais de 2500 lanternas que cobrem cinco quilómetros desta famosa montanha. Para quem vem de norte, o caminho passa pelo Templo Shoren-ji e o Parque Maruyama, seguindo depois para o Santuário Yasaka-jinja e o Templo Kyomizu-dera. Algumas das lanternas colocadas em bambu do Parque Maruyama criam uma atmosfera mágica!


O HANATORU de Higashiyama pode ser apreciado de 3 a 12 de março de 2017, entre as seis da tarde e as nove e meia da noite.

Pode vir até Higashiyama de autocarro / ônibus ou de comboio / trem (cerca de dez minutos a pé desde a Estação Higashiyama da Linha Tozai do metro de Quioto).

klllllll(Mapa de Higashiyama)

lklllllll(Mapa de Arashiyama)

Talking to a Rickshaw Driver

by Mayu Kuwahara, Karen Takeda and Yuri Nonaka

Rickshaw Driver Yoshito Ayata

Rickshaw Driver Yoshito Ayata


Rickshaws in Japan

The Japanese-style rickshaw was invented by Kosuke Izumi, Kosuke Takayama and Tokujiro Suzuki in about 1868. When they went to Tokyo, they saw carriages and inspired by them to develop a jinrikusha or rickshaw. It is one kind of vehicle that has been used as a means of transportations in Japan. A rickshaw has a covered seat set between two wheels, and is pulled by a “driver.” People who pull rickshaws are called “shahu.” Rickshaws are still used in many tourist areas for sightseeing, especially in Kyoto. When customers hire a rickshaws, the rickshaw driver is expected to tell stories about local history and give advice about popular stores or restaurants because they know the best places in Kyoto.


Rickshaw Driver Youshito Ayata

We interviewed a Japanese rickshaw driver named Yoshito Ayata. He works at Ebisuya, which is a rickshaw company located near Arashiyama Station in Kyoto. He is a 20-year-old student and goes to Ritsumeikan University. He has been driving rickshaws for about one year, so he talked about his job.

Karen: Why did you decide to start working at Ebisuya?

Yoshito: It has been my dream job since I was about nine years old. When I saw the rickshaw for the first time, I thought it was super cool. Ever since that day I decided to do this job after I graduated from high school.

Mayu: What have you learned by your experience as a rickshaw driver?

Yoshito: I learned a lot of things—not only how to drive the rickshaw but also how to show hospitality. And it is very good exercise for me and I can practice foreign languages with my customers.

Karen: That is great. What do you consider when you interact with foreign customers? Is there any difference between Japanese and foreign customers?

Yoshito: There is so much difference between Japanese and foreign customers. Some foreigners think that the rickshaw is just a cheap means of transportation like in India or Thailand, so they will be surprised when they see the price. One more example, when I give them a guided tour about one area in Kyoto, most of them don’t know about the Tale of Genji nor Hyakunin-isshyu, so it is a bit hard to explain about the history.

Yuri: I see. It is so interesting.

Karen: Yes. Even Japanese don’t know a lot about Japanese history, so it must be harder to explain about Japanese history to foreign customers.

Yuri: By the way, why can you speak English so well?

Yoshito: Oh, I studied abroad in New Zealand for one year when I was a high school student. That is why I speak English better than the other drivers, so I mainly deal with foreign customers. My boss always passes them to me. But many times I interact with Chinese customers too, so I would like to improve my Chinese language. It is the hardest thing for me.

Yuri: Do you have anything that you think about concerning this job? And also I’d like to know how you felt when you drove a rickshaw for the first time.

Yoshito: I think a lot about maintaining a healthy condition, especially in the summer time. And also in the rainy season! It takes about 40 minutes to polish my rickshaw when it rains. And balancing the rickshaw for the first time was the hardest thing for me. Also the rickshaw is categorized as a light vehicle such as bicycle or scooter, so you have to follow the traffic laws, and you have to speak to the customer at the same time.

Yuri: I never thought about it. You have to run with the road traffic! So interesting.

Mayu: That is so scary!….haha. Okay then, what is the most precious thing for you when you are working?

Yoshito: When my customers could enjoy my ride from the bottom of their heart. I like their smiles very much.

Karen: Okay thanks. It’s the last question. What are the attractive points of Kyoto when being viewed from a rickshaw?

Yoshito: When you ride the rickshaw, everything seems attractive, because you can see the town from a different perspective. And I highly recommend the path that goes through the bamboo forest here, especially in the early morning when nobody is around.

Mayu: I don’t know about rickshaws much but really want to ride one someday.

Yoshito: Please come to Ebisuya!

Yuri: Yes! Thanks!


Hiring a jinrikishya in Kyoto will become one of your best memories. They are not at all like a bus or a taxi. Not only as vehicle, but also as an activity, you can get closer to Kyoto, learn about recommended places, touch culture and history, and find new attractive points from the new perspective of rickshaw. Try and go around Kyoto with Jinrikisya!!!

Arashiyama Station

Arashiyama Station


1 Passenger

– 1 block tour (1200m, 12min) – 3,000yen

– 2 block tour (2200m, 22min) – 5,000yen

– 30 minute tour  – 7,000yen

– 45 minute tour – 10,000yen

– 60 minute tour  – 13,000yen

– 120 minite tour – 23,500yen

– 180 minute tour – 32,500yen


2 Passengers

– 1 block tour (1200m, 12min) – 4,000yen

– 2 block tour (2200m, 22min) – 7,000yen

– 30 minute tour  – 9,000yen

– 45 minute tour – 13,500yen

– 60 minute tour  – 17,500yen

– 120 minite tour – 32,500yen

– 180 minute tour – 47,500yen

* cash only, credit cards not accepted


More information  ↓Please cleck here↓



   von Yuka Sakaguchi

minen eigenen Weihrauch

Einen ganz persönlichen Weihrauch kreieren

Das japanische Räucherwerk (o-kô) ist etwas anderes als ein Parfüm. Die Japaner erfreuen sich an dem Duft in ihrem Haus oder in der Tasche. Er duftet so wie ihre Heimat oder die Natur, zum Beispiel nach Regen, Blumen, der Sonne und so weiter.

Der Weihrauch kam circa im Jahr 538 nach Japan. Damals wurde er benutzt, um böse Geister zu vertreiben. Besonders der Adel benutzte ihn gern. Ab dem 9. Jahrhundert begann man seine Kleidung, also die Kimonos, zu parfümieren. Im Volk soll sich der Weihrauch erst ab dem 17. Jahrhundert verbreitet haben.

Es gibt zwei Wege, sich am o-kô zu erfreuen. Entweder als Pulver  in einem Duftsäckchen oder als Pulver, das verbrannt wird. Als Beutel legt man den Weihrauch in eine Tasche, einen Geldbeutel, ein Auto, einen Brief oder einen Schrank. Einem Brief beigefügt, kann man den Empfänger erfreuen oder ihm seinen eigenen Lieblingsduft vorstellen. Als Pulver zum Verbrennen nutzt man den Weihrauch im Haus oder am Eingang, zum Beispiel, wenn Freunde zu Besuch kommen oder man sich durch den Duft erfrischen will.

mit einem Mörser zerreiben

Das Pulver mit einem Mörser zerreiben

In einem Geschäft namens „Shoyeido“ in Arashiyama kann man seinen eigenen Weihrauch herstellen. Es gibt 8 Duftsorten als kleine Stücke aus gepresstem Pulver, zum Beispiel Lavendel, Zimt und Gewürznelke. Man wählt 10 davon aus. Sie werden mit einem Mörser zerrieben und in zwei halbmondförmige Beutel gefüllt. Diese legt man einem Brief bei oder benutzt sie als Lesezeichen. Das restliche Pulver wird in ein großes Blatt Papier eingepackt. Man tut es in die Tasche oder Handtasche. Der Duft hält für etwa drei Monate an. Wenn man seine eigene Duftmischung in Arashiyama herstellen will, muss man im Voraus dort reservieren. Das kostet 1296 Yen für 30 Minuten.

Ich hoffe, dass Sie Ihren Lieblingsweihrauch in Kyoto finden werden.

die Landkarte

die Landkarte


Arashiyama Takao Parkway

por Shuntaro Itami

Hay muchos lugares históricos en Kioto pero también hay otros lugares que visitar. Si usted es un turista que viene a Kioto con su coche, este es un lugar al que debería ir. Esta ruta de coche, está localizada en Ukyo-Kioto en la famosa Arashiyama. Es un camino de pago de 10,7 km de largo. El horario es de 8:00 de la mañana a 20:00 de la tarde. En los fines de semana está prohibido ir con motos, solo están permitidos los coches.

Hay muchas cosas que puede hacer dentro de esta ruta, como ver el paisaje desde sus miradores. Arashiyama es uno de los lugares más famosos de Kioto para ver los cerezos y los árboles en otoño. La gente suele ver los cerezos al pie de la montaña, pero si usted va a esta ruta podrá verlos desde arriba o dentro de la montaña.

El Monte Takao tiene 4 miradores, desde los cuales puede verse, el río, la ciudad de Kioto o las montañas de alrededor. No solo es un buen lugar para ver el paisaje, sino también para disfrutar de la conducción, siempre respetando las normas de tráfico. También hay parques infantiles y lugares para hacer barbacoas.

Motos (más de 125 cc) 830 yenes.
Coches. 1.180 yenes.
Microbús. 2.940 yenes.
Autobús turístico. 4.790 yenes.

Cómo ir
30 minutos desde la salida Kioto-Sur.
Salida Oyamazaki, 45 minutos.

Arashiyama Monkey Park

Kioto tiene muchos lugares muy famosos además de Gion y Machiya. Algunos contienen naturaleza verde y animales. En Kioto podemos tocarlos.

Queremos recomendar “Monkey Park Iwatayama”, que se halla en Arashiyama.

Arashiyama es muy famoso como lugar de turismo. Sin embargo, este parque no es conocido por los turistas japoneses. Sin embargo, ocupa el decimocuarto lugar en la clasificación de popularidad entre los turistas extranjeros. Y el séptimo lugar en la clasificación de la ciudad de Kioto.

En la actualidad hay unos 130 monos en este parque. Todos los monos tienen nombres.

El otro día nosotras visitamos este parque. Anduvimos un poco desde la estación de Arashiyama hasta este parque. La entrada es muy pequeña. Se tiene que buscar con atención. Y además tenemos que subir por una montaña hasta el parque. Se tarda más o menos 30 minutos. El día que subimos hacía mucho calor. Recomendamos que se pongan unas zapatillas. Estábamos muy cansadas. Pero pudimos ver una naturaleza variada. En otoño se puede ver el cambio al color rojo de las hojas de los árboles. Mientras subíamos por la montaña, vimos los monos. Pero no tenemos que mirarles a los ojos, porque los monos entonces pueden atacarnos.

entrance2            michi

La cumbre de la montaña tiene una altitud de 155 metros. Es muy alta y desde allí podemos ver toda la ciudad de Kioto. También podemos ver la torre de Kioto. El paisaje era muy precioso.

paisaje    saru5    esa

Pudimos dar comida a los monos. Teníamos miedo, pero los monos son muy bonitos. Además los cuidadores nos sacan fotos con los monos.

Pudimos observar la vida de los monos porque los vimos de

muy cerca. Por ejemplo, los monos nadaban en el estanque. Y la madre de un mono estaba meciendo a su bebé.

ike  saru4

En este parque había muchos turistas extranjeros. Quizás en otros lugares del mundo no se pueda tocar a los manos, como aquí en Japón. Queremos que Vds. visiten “Monkey Park Iwatayama”.




・El tren de HANKYU, se baja en la estación de Arashiyama. Se tarda unos cinco minutos andando hasta este parque.



・Adultos ¥550, niños ¥250.

・Bolsa de comida para dar a los monos ¥100.



・9:00~17:00 (abierto todo el año)

Der Otagi Nebutsu-ji Tempel

Autorin : Yoosa Soe


Der Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Tempel

Die Geschichte des Tempels

Der Tempel steht auf der Atago-Straße, die 2006 als original japanische „Landschaftsstraße“ ausgezeichnet wurde, und ist als Abfahrtspunkt der Sagano-Besichtigungstour bekannt. Eigentlich wurde der Tempel auf König Shotokus Befehl in der Mitte des 8. Jahrhunderts als Otagi-Tempel in Kyoto Higashiyama gebaut. Aber am Anfang der Heian-Zeit wurde das Gebäude des Tempels bei einem Hochwasser des Kamogawa-Flusses zerstört und deshalb später auf König Daigos Befehl von Senkan Naigu wiederaufgebaut. Senkan gehörte zur Tendai-Schule, einem der beiden wichtigsten Ableger des Mahayana Buddhismus. Sie wurde im Jahr 806 von China durch den buddhistischen Mönch Saicho nach Japan überliefert. Das Sutra ist das Lotos-Sutra, das predigt, dass alle zu Buddha werden. Senkan rief den Namen Buddhas auf Lebenszeit an. Aufgrund seines buddhistischen Glaubens war er überzeugt, dass durch die Erlösung alle zu Buddha werden und in Frieden ruhen. Daher nannte man ihn Priester “Nenbutsu“ (der den Namen Buddhas anruft und preist) und deshalb wird der Tempel auch Otagi Nenbutsu-ji genannt. Leider wurde der Tempel wiederholt überflutet und deshalb im Jahr 1922 zur Atago-Straße umgesiedelt und dort wiederaufgebaut, um die Gebäude des Tempels zu erhalten. Im Tempelbereich liegt das Hauptgebäude, das in der Mitte der Kamakura-Zeit (1185 bis 1333) wiederaufgebaut wurde. Darin steht eine tausendarmige Kannon-Bodhisattwa als Schutz gegen das Böse und auch als Hauptsymbol des Tempels. Das ist einer der wichtigsten Kulturschätze Japans. Am Eingang des Tempels steht das Ninno Tor aus der Mitte der Edo-Zeit (1603 bis 1867). Darin aufgebahrt befindet sich die Kongorikishi Statue als ein Genius des Tempels aus der Kamakura-Zeit. Sie gehört zum offiziellen Kulturerbe Kyotos.


Ich bin der Genius des Tempels!

Ich bin der Genius des Tempels!

Drei Glocken klingeln harmonisch!

Drei Glocken läuten harmonisch!

Hondo als Hauptgebäude

Hondo als Hauptgebäude


Der Tempel als Sehenswürdigkeit    

Die meisten Besucher laufen in Arashiyama bis zum Daikakuji Tempel oder zum Seiryouji Tempel in Sagano, der auf der Karte für Touristen steht. Doch nur wenige Besucher bemerken den kleinen Tempel, der nicht auf der Karte für Touristen verzeichnet ist. In diesem Tempelbereich stehen 1200 Rakan-Figuren aus Stein. Rakan war ein Schüler von Buddha und verbreitete den Buddhismus als Mönch. Merkwürdigerweise gibt es keinen einzigen Rakan mehrmals, weil all diese Rakan von Besuchern des Tempels angefertigt wurden. Außerdem waren sie alle keine Handwerker, sondern blutige Laien.

Wer bin ich ?

Wer bin ich ?

Hörst du mich?  - Was?

Hörst du mich? – Was?




Warum gibt es 1200 Rakan in diesem Tempelbereich? Die Zahl 1200 setzt sich aus 500 und 700 zusammen. Die 500 symbolisiert die Anzahl der Mönche, die beim Tod Buddhas anwesend waren. Die 700 symbolisiert die Anzahl von Mönchen, die 100 Jahre nach dem Tod Buddhas eine große Versammlung abhielten und die buddhistische Lehre prüften, um zu verhindern, dass ein Glaubenssatz versehentlich eingeführt wird. 1955 wurde Kôcho Nishimura, der sich mit der Rekonstruktion von 600 Statuen der Tausendarmigen Kannon im Sanjusangen-do in Kyoto beschäftigt hat, als Oberpriester des Tempels eingesetzt. Damals war der Tempel als tristester Tempel in Kyoto bekannt. Der kleine Tempel hatte nur wenig Besucher oder Auftraggeber für Trauerfeiern und andere buddhistische Bräuche, sodass der Tempel immer mehr verfiel.

Kôcho Nishimura wünschte sich, den heutigen Menschen die Buddhistische Lehre irgendwie näher zu bringen. Er war davon überzeugt, dass jeder, der zumindest den Wunsch zu beten im Herzen hatte, auch in der Lage sei, eine Buddha-Statue aus einem Stein zu hauen. Daher appellierte er beim Gebet zum Wiederaufbau des Tempels 1981 an die Besucher: „Wollen wir zusammen eine Statue als Rakan anfertigen?“ Diesem Ruf folgten viele Teilnehmer aus allen Regionen Japans. Durch seine gute Anleitung schaffen sie es, die Statuen aus den Steinen zu hauen. 10 Jahre später, also 1991, war der Wunsch des Priesters endlich erfüllt und 1200 Rakan füllten das Tempelinnere. Lassen auch Sie sich von den humoristischen und ausdrucksvollen Rakan im Tempelbereich empfangen und für die Mühen Ihrer Reise belohnen.


Wollen wir boxen?

Wollen wir boxen?

Sehr lustig Musik zu hören!

Sehr lustig Musik zu hören!





Adresse: 2 – 5 Fukatani – cho, Saga Toriimoto, Ukyo – ku, Kyoto 616 – 8439

Telefonnummer: 075 – 865 – 1231

Eintritt: 300 Yen

Öffnungszeit : 8:00 – 17:00 (ohne Ruhetag)

Anfahrt: mit dem KYOTO-BUS nach KIYOTAKI (Nr.62・64・72・74・94)



Monkeys, Boats & Bamboo ―A Guided Walking Course in Arashiyama

By Haruka Chaya and Ayaka Endo

Who do you want to go to Arashiyama with? Arashiyama (literally “storm mountain”) is the name of a mountain and district in western Kyoto where the Hozu River empties from the western hills. After it flows under the Togetsukyo Bridge it is called the Oi River. Later downstream it becomes the Katsura River. Designated a National Historic Sight and Place of Scenic Beauty, Arashiyama is filled with natural wonders and many historical and cultural spots of interest that are all within walking distance of each other. If you want to go there with your girlfriend or boyfriend, a friend, or your family, we recommend you try our Arashiyama sightseeing course, which includes a monkey park, boating, a path through a bamboo grove and shopping.

arashiyama map

First stop:  Iwatayama Monkey Park

At the top of the mountain just above the Katsura River is the Iwatayama Monkey Park. It is a short climb to get there, but once you are there you are surround by monkeys. There are about 130 monkeys in the park, from young monkeys to adults. They are a wild group, but visitors from fee them from a special mountain hut. As they are wild, we can see natural behavior. Sometimes they are grooming each other or fighting; relaxing or playing, drinking water or begging for food. If a monkey approaches you it is best to never pet or touch the monkey, also and avert looking into the monkeys eyes. For males, looking into the eyes is a challenge. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Kyoto from this mountain park. The park is only a short distance from the Saga-Arashiyama Station.

Iwatayama Monkey Park

Iwatayama Monkey Park

Second stop: Boating

After you climb down from the monkey mountain park, you will come upon the Togetsu Bridge, one of the most iconic landmarks in Kyoto. When standing in the center of the bridge and looking north, you will be treated to a classic scene of mountains and river, which is especially beautiful in spring and autumn.

Doushou, a pupil of the famous priest Kuukai, is said to have built the first bridge over the Oi River between 834~848. The bridge was later called “Togetsukyo” or “moon crossing bridge,” so named by the 90th emperor of Japan, Kameyama Tenno (reign from 1259-1274). The current design was made in the 17th century, but the bridge was renovated in 1934.

After crossing the bridge turn left and walk along the riverbank until you come to a small pier with lots of rental boats. Here you can rent boats and enjoy experiencing beautiful views of the surrounding hills while boating on the river.  Boat rental costs 1,400 yen an hour. On the opposite bank is a food stand where boaters can order Japanese food directly from their boat. On the menu is mitarashi dango (rice dumplings with sweet sauce), yakisoba (fried noodles), tempura, udon, and drinks.




Third Stop: Bamboo Grove

After you have enjoyed you boat outing, you can walk a path that passes through a bamboo forest. It is called Chikurin no Michi in Japanese. This area has been a bamboo forest for more than a thousand years. The forest is full of pleasant sounds —the bamboo swaying in the breeze and the song of bush warblers. This makes it a very relaxing place.

Bamboo Grove

Bamboo Grove


Fourth Stop: Getting Something to Eat

In Arashiyama there are many local food specialties: for example, green tea and boiled tofu or bracken rice cakes and so on. We especially recommend trying one of the many varieties of food that are made with green tea. You can try green tea soft ice cream a shop near the Randen train station. You’ll enjoy sharing a cone of soft green tea ice cream with your partner. Please look at the above map.

You can get here by Hankyu train, JR,  or the Randen line. Please get off the Arashiyama Station.