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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto
Hanatoro 
# 48   of 60 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.

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

Arashiyama Hanatoro

The next Arashiyama Hanatoro will be held in December 2015.

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

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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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.
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.
Japanese hotel, Ryokan Nishiyama
Experience the real Japan at our affordable ryokan. Close to major tourist spots in Kyoto.
Ryokan Motonago
A real traditional inn at Gion with 11 rooms, friendly staff. Walking distance of Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka-jinja and more.
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Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
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Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
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Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
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Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Hanatoro:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 77 users):
88/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 792):
103.  Sanjusangendo (Kyoto)   88/100
104.  Doraemon Museum (Kawasaki)   88/100
105.  Ryuhyo (Drift Ice) (Abashiri)   88/100
106.  Shibuya (Tokyo)   88/100
107.  Art House Project (Naoshima)   88/100
108.  Hanatoro (Kyoto)   88/100
109.  Usuzan West Craters (Lake Toya)   88/100
110.  Kannonin Temple (Tottori)   88/100
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368.  Spain Mura (Ise Shima)   170
369.  Hakkeijima (Yokohama)   170
370.  Science Museum (Osaka)   170
371.  Hanatoro (Kyoto)   168
372.  Kagurazaka (Tokyo)   166
373.  City Museum (Otaru)   165
374.  Shopping Arcades (Takamatsu)   162
375.  Komyozenji Temple (Dazaifu)   162

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English Links
Hanatoro
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Hanatoro
Official website.

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