Experience Japan's summer with all 5 of your senses at the Shoujuin temple in Kyoto.

Experience Japan's summer with all 5 of your senses at the Shoujuin temple in Kyoto.

Right now, Japan's blazing summer is truly beginning! Kyoto, a famous tourism hotspot is known for being one of the hottest places in Japan during summer. But did you know there is a place in Kyoto that lets you experience fun summer traditions while staying cool? Let me introduce you to Shoujuin, a place where you can experience soothing coolness with all 5 of your senses!

   About the Shoujuin temple.

The Shoujuin temple, build about 800 years ago, belongs to the Koyasan Shingon sect and was originally build as a sub-temple to the Iiosan Ioukyoji Temple (founded in 717, currently abandoned).

   The window through which happiness shines.

One of the most popular spots in the Shoujuin temple is the inome window. Inome is a traditional Japanese heart shaped pattern. This pattern was found in ancient tombs from as early as the 6th and 7th century. When the foreign culture influences became stronger during the Meiji era, “inome" shape patterns became known as “heart” shape patterns. The sight of the seasonal landscape peeking through the heart shaped window accompanied by the sound of wind chimes and bird song is enough to bring anyone happiness! A known power spot, this place is especially popular with women.

   The wind chime festival.

Shoujuin temple is also known as the wind chime temple. During the wind chime festival, held every summer, over a thousand wind chimes decorate the temple grounds.

The area in which Shoujuin temple is located is about 5 degrees cooler than Kyoto’s center. The wind chime festival started with the idea of experiencing coolness not just by through temperature but by feeling it with all 5 senses ; sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

   Sight- See wind chimes from all over the country.

An assortment of wind chimes from all over the 47 prefectures!
Enjoy the different shapes and sounds of each wind chime.

   Hearing- The sound of chimes in the wind.

When the wind blows, the temple grounds resound with the rustle of bamboo swaying in the wind mixed with the soothing clinking of the chimes. You can enjoy that special summer sound of chimes being stirred in the wind.

   Smell- Smelling the tea plantations and the surrounding nature.

Behind the main hall is a tea plantation where you can enjoy the scent of Ujitawaramachi tea, the original green tea.

   Taste- Enjoy a sip of authentic tea in “Tea town”.

If you go to the main hall after the reception, you can enjoy tea and sweets while listening to the sound of the wind chimes.

   Touch- Try decorating a wind chime yourself.

You can enjoy decorating a wind chime and take it home afterwards.
The wind chime decorating experience is available at all times, just inform the temple staff that you would like to try decorating a wind chime.

The experience takes approximately 30 minutes.
The participation fee is 1200 yen.
Available from July 1 to September 18.
(Only during the wind chime festival.)

   Map&Access

149 Okuyamada Kawakami, Ujitawara-cho, Tsurugi-gun, Kyoto

   2019 Wind Chime Festival Schedule

Period: From July 1 to September 18
Admission time 9: 00-16: 30
Admission fee 700 yen
The wind chimes festival needed advance booking in 2018, but in 2019 it seems that no pre-purchase of tickets or reservations are needed.
Contact: 0774-88-3601

Shoujuin website

   ATTENTION!

★Heat stroke countermeasures.
In order to prevent heat stroke, we recommend that you prepare yourself by bringing plenty of drinks, a parasol etc.

   In conclusion.

So this was the Shoujuin temple in Kyoto, what do you think?Even though Kyoto is sometimes called one of the hottest places in Japan, please go visit Shoujuin yourself and experience coolness with all your 5 senses.

Draft storyboard & illustration by Hanako Takahashi (Osaka University of Arts)

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