Writer: Alma Reyes

Editor, writer, graphic/layout designer, and music artist promotion/event coordinator based in Tokyo, Japan. Holds a Bachelor's degree in Interior Design, studied Computer Graphic Design at University of California Berkeley, Japanese language studies at Osaka University of Foreign Studies, and received her Master's degree in Product Design & Design Management at Kyoto Institute of Technology. Has published over 30 titles as editor and writer. Interests include design, architecture, art, photography, brush calligraphy, music, piano, concerts, film, theatre, books, poetry, travel, retro, boats, horses, wine, Italian food, and all "uninhibited" elements of life...

Tinkling Chimes at the Kawasaki Daishi Temple

Some of these varieties include: ceramic, glass, metal, bamboo, bronze, clay, crystal and so on. Kawasaki Daishi Temple, while not quite known to many tourists, has always beendedicated to the warding of evil through its ceremonies of purification, such as the Yakudoshi (unlucky or critical age in a person’s life), blessings of talismans and charms, burning rites during New Year, year-end cleaning ritual using long brooms, and others.

Summer Lights of Mitama Festival at Yasukuni Shrine

In keeping with the ancient custom, Yasukuni Shrine holds the yearly Mitama Festival around July 13-16 as part of the Obon festivities. Mitama refers to the spirit or soul of the dead. During this season, Japanese hang lanterns and place offerings at the altars as prayers for their ancestors’ spirits to be freed of their sufferings. Since 1947, the Mitama Festival has lightened up the Yasukuni Shrine grounds with more than 30,000 glittering lanterns or chochin.

Honenin's thatched-roof gate with bright red autumn foliage above

Discovering Kyoto’s Hidden Autumn Treasures – And Avoiding the Crowds

You can avoid the long waits outside temple entrances and bus stops by avoiding the guidebook-recommended spots, such as Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzenji, Heian Shrine or Arashiyama. Indeed, these gorgeous sites reveal Kyoto’s most treasured maple views; yet, there are other 1,600 and more temples and shrines in Kyoto that likewise exude charming beauty in their simplicity, solace, and natural landscapes.

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