As we enter the month of March and are all looking forward to the Hanami season, various special events are taking place in Kyoto. Among these, the evening light-ups are certainly the most popular ones.
This is not a mere lighting up of the garden, but it is an actual light show. After visiting the interior of the temple (which is more a villa than a temple), one can view the beautiful circular pond-garden. The bamboo forest on the upper ground is another special sight, specially during the illumination.
At night, during the light show, the place appears to transform into a mysterious world—trees and flowers fading in the darkness, the five grand camphor trees (national natural monuments) majestically lit up, and a mandala of light, projected on the moss garden.
Shoren-In is located in the Southern Higashiyama area, right after the Chion-In Temple, north of Maruyama Koen Park (only 10 minutes on foot distance from the Yasaka shrine.)
You can easily find it thanks to the obvious landmark — huge camphor trees right in front of the gate of the temple. These five trees in front and around the temple are truly spectacular and actual national natural monuments!