Hana Touro

March 15, 2010

Saturday was the beginning of Hana Touro in Higashiyama, an annual light-up event in Kyoto. There are about 2400 lanterns of six different varieties made of materials including ceramics, bamboo, wood and metal, that line the streets. Yesterday evening the weather was fine for a change and the multitudes took advantage to stroll the streets and admire the lanterns. It was also White Day yesterday so there were a lot of couples wandering around attempting to be romantic among the crowds. On Valentine’s Day in Japan women give chocolates and presents to men either as an expression of love (honmei-choco) or simply as a social obligation (giri-choco). White Day, a month later, is the day when men are expected to return the favour. It was dreamed up in 1978 by the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association – what a marketing ploy!

It was nice to see so many young people in kimono, like these three women photographing Kiyomizu temple.

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