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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto
Hanatoro 
# 47   of 59 most visited
sights in Kyoto

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Hanatoro (ԓH, Hanatōro), which means "flower and light road", is a set of illumination events that take place in the Higashiyama District of Kyoto in March and the Arashiyama district of Kyoto in December. During Hanatoro the streets are illuminated by thousands of lanterns set throughout popular areas combined with flower and light displays.

Many temples and shrines are illuminated and have special extended viewing hours. In addition, live and street performances are held at stages around the area. The pleasant and unique atmosphere of Hanatoro attracts many visitors who can stroll the streets and see a different side of Kyoto.

Arashiyama Hanatoro

The next Arashiyama Hanatoro will be held from December 12 to 21, 2014.

Togetsukyo Bridge

Arashiyama is a pleasant district on the outskirts of Kyoto that holds its Hanatoro every December. For ten days, more than five kilometers of streets around the town center and along the river are lit up by lanterns. Many temples and shrines in the area are illuminated and have special extended hours.

Among the most spectacular attractions are the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge spanning the river and the bamboo forest behind Tenryuji Temple. Both are illuminated during Hanatoro with the Togetsukyo Bridge being particularly beautiful as it is lit up along with the surrounding mountainsides.

Bamboo Groves

Higashiyama Hanatoro

The next Higashiyama Hanatoro will be held from March 6 to 15, 2015.

Yasaka Pagoda

During the March Hanatoro the streets of Kyoto's historic Higashiyama District are lined by more than 2400 lanterns that stretch from Shorenin all the way to Kiyomizudera. Nearly all of the popular temples and shrines in the district are illuminated and have extended opening hours.

The Hanabutai stage is set up in Kodaiji Temple Park where daily live music, dance and performances are held. Additionally, performance areas in front of the large central weeping cherry tree (shidarezakura) in Maruyama Park and Kiyomizudera are set aside for street performances.

Many shops also have extended opening hours during Hanatoro, and in combination with the illumination events makes for a pleasant evening atmosphere which attracts many people to the area during a time of the day when it is usually rather deserted.

A side street in the Higashiyama District

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
The Higashiyama Hanatoro takes place in the Higashiyama District of eastern Kyoto around Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine.

The Arashiyama Hanatoro takes place in the Arashiyama District, west of central Kyoto.

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hours and Fees
Arashiyama Hanatoro
Hours:17:00 to 20:30, December 12 to 21, 2014

Higashiyama Hanatoro
Hours:18:00 to 21:30, March 6 to 15, 2015

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Sponsor Hotels
Hotel Sanoya
3 min from north exit of JR Kyoto Sta. but in quiet area. Cozy, clean Japanese rooms with bath. Internet PC in lobby.
Gion Shinmonso
A fine ryokan in the Gion near geisha streets. Easy access to Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja. Special offers available.
Izuyasu
Peaceful small ryokan with 170-year history. 10min walk from JR Kyoto Sta. The 7th inn keeper serves Kyoto Kaiseki cuisines. Private baths & Wi-Fi. Renovated in 2013.
Arashiyama Hanaikada
A little, superior ryokan right near Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. Free transfer at JR station. Private onsen bath.
Backpackers Hostel K's House Kyoto
Voted No.1 hostel chain worldwide for 2010&2011 by Hostelworld.com customers. 9 min. walk from JR Kyoto Station. Beds from 2,300 yen.
Gion Hatanaka
A real Japanese inn in a quiet area of Gion, famous for Geisha. 15min walk to Kiyomizu-dera. 5min to Yasaka-jinja.
Ryokan Saka-no-ue
Traditional, cozy ryokan with 12 rooms. Japanese cottage style houses available. Located near Yasaka Shrine and Gion.
Ryokan Hirashin
3min walk to Shijo Karasuma Sta. Spacious Japanese-style rooms. 140 years of history. Public baths renovated in 2006.
Recommended Hotels around Kyoto - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
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Agoda or Booking
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.
JR Tokai Tours
Your Shinkansen and hotel package professional. Fantastic Kyoto tours from Tokyo at excellent prices!

User Ratings
Ratings for Hanatoro:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 76 users):
87/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 787):
106.  Kannonin Temple (Tottori)   88/100
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108.  Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo)   87/100
109.  Fuji Q Highland (Fuji Five Lakes)   87/100
110.  Hiji Waterfall (Okinawa Island)   87/100
111.  Hanatoro (Kyoto)   87/100
112.  Enkoji Temple (Kyoto)   87/100
113.  Daisho-in Temple (Miyajima)   87/100
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366.  Sapporo Factory (Sapporo)   168
367.  Science Museum (Osaka)   168
368.  Hanatoro (Kyoto)   167
369.  Godaido (Matsushima)   166
370.  Shugakuin Villa (Kyoto)   166
371.  Hakkeijima (Yokohama)   165
372.  City Museum (Otaru)   164

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English Links
Hanatoro
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Hanatoro
Official website.

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