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Useful Information by Kyoto Visitor’s Guide

2016/09/04

The Autumn Harvest Moon No place could better suited for full moon viewing than from the timelessness of Kyoto. Of all the year’s 12 full moons, the September full moon, or harvest moon, is considered to be the most sublime.

 十五夜 下鴨

 

It is said that the moon viewing custom was introduced to Japan from China during the Nara (710-794) and Heian periods (794-1185). Moon viewing takes place on August 15th in the lunar calendar, and it is called Jugoya, which means the night of the 15th. Jugoya in the present calendar changes every year and usually falls in September (sometimes in the early October).

 

Sprays of susuki (pampas grass), which resemble rice plants, and other autumn grasses are displayed at various houses and shops along with neat clusters of tiny rice dumplings (tsukimi dango). Moon viewing ceremonies and celebrations are held in many temples and shrines.

 十五夜 下鴨2

 

Jugoya Moon Viewing Events in Kyoto

Sept. 15-17 Osawa Pond in Daikaku-ji Temple Since ancient times, people have enjoyed full moon viewing from boats on Osawa Pond. Tea ceremony is held on the boats and participants can enjoy an elegant evening in a spectacular setting. A koto harp concert will also performed twice a day. Boat ride: 1,000 yen, tea: 800 yen (Admission to the temple: 500 yen); 17:00-20:30; Access: About 20-min. from JR Saga Arashiyama Stn.; Tel: 075-871-0071; www.daikakuji.or.jp

Sept. 15 Kamigamo Shrine After a special dance performance, special sweet dumplings and sake will be offered to the first 300 people from 18:00. Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, #9, get off at Kamigamojinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp

Sept. 15 Shimogamo Shrine Traditional dance and music, including koto harp music, will be performed from 17:30. The performers and players will wear gorgeous Heian period costumes. Tea ceremony: 1,000 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010;

www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp

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