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Kyoto Prefecture Latest E-mail Magazine (published March 2nd, 2015)


Kyoto Prefecture Hot Information

2/3/2015  No. 165

Published by Kyoto Prefectural Government.



* Introduction

* Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatoro

* Seiryuue Celebration at Kiyomizu-dera Temple

* Nehan-e and Otaimatsu Fire Ritual at Seiryo-ji Temple

* Kyoto City and Muko City “Shakeout” Drill

* Kyoto Prefecture CIRs multicultural blog

* FM COCOLO -- Last broadcasts in March 2015


Hello everyone and welcome to March, the last year of the 2014 financial year or nendo (年度(ねんど)). Lots of places tend to be busy with preparations for the new financial year which begins on April 1st while also scrambling to make plans for hanami cherry blossom viewing. This year, current forecasts put the first blooming of the blossoms on the 28th March, with full bloom on the 5th April, so be sure to use the next few weeks to make plans to catch Kyoto’s beautiful cherry blossoms. Find out more information on weather and blossom forecasts, and hanami site suggestions for Kyoto at:

http://sakura.weathermap.jp/area.php?city=Kyoto (Japanese only)


Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro

Kyoto’s bi-annual Hanatouro event kicks off again in March with the historic Higashiyama district of the city being jazzed up with all manners of lighting, lanterns, and flower arrangement promenades. Furthermore, some of Kyoto’s biggest and best temples and shrines in the area will also have special night-time openings and illuminations, including the immortal Kiyomizudera Temple and Yasaka Shrine.


The milder March evenings should make any stroll down the cobbled streets of Higashiyama a pleasure for anyone, while providing an ideal setting for any auspicious White Day adventurers on Saturday 14th, but bear in mind that the crowds can tend to gather at the main photo spots.


Dates: Friday March 6th ? Sunday March 15th

Time: 18:00-21:30

Participation fee: free (there may be entrance fees for temples and shrines)

Place: Throughout Higashiyama area


For more details and information on displays and routes, visit the English website:



Seiryuue Celebration at Kiyomizu-dera Temple According to legend, the city of Kyoto is protected on all by four mythical creatures: the North protected by the Black Tortoise, Genbu; the South by the Vermilion Bird, Suzaku; the East by the Azure Dragon, Seiryuu; the West by the White Tiger, Byakko. Each of these four creatures is represented by a temple, with Kiyomizu-dera Temple is dedicated to Seiryuu, the Azure Dragon, which also represents the season of Spring.


Therefore five times every year a ceremony is held at Kiyomizu-dera Temple every spring to celebrate the Azure Dragon. The ceremony includes a procession of the dragon and temple staff around the precinct.


March dates: Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th

Time: 14:00~

Admission: 300 yen

Access: 15 minute walk from either Gojozaka (五条坂(ごじょうざか)) or Kiyomizu-michi (清水道) bus stops.


For more information please visit the following websites:

http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html (Kiyomizu-dera Temple English website)

http://monzenkai.guide-book.jp/?l=1&cat=1488 (Seiryuue event English website)


Nehan-e and Otaimatsu Fire Ritual at Seiryo-ji Temple Nehan (涅槃(ねはん)) is the state of Nirvana or enlightenment in Buddhism, and this ceremony at Seiryo-ji Temple in Arashiyama displays the large painting depicting the Buddha’s passage into Nirvana. Furthermore, the Otaimatsu ceremony (お松明式(たいまつしき)) in the evening is a torch-lighting ritual said to portray the scene of the Buddha’s death (which is said to have occurred on the 15th February in the lunar calendar). The Saga Shaka Dai Nenbutsu (sutra chanting) at Seiryo-ji Temple is one of Kyoto’s Three Great Buddhist rituals.


Date: Sunday 15th March

Time: 10:00~ for Buddha memorial ceremony and display of Nehan-zu painting; 20:00~ for Otaimatsu fire ritual

Admission: Usually 400 yen (free of charge for night-time opening only on this day)

Access: Take Kyoto City Bus #28, or Kyoto Bus #71 or #72 and get off at Saga Shakado-mae (嵯峨(さが)釈迦(しゃか)堂前(どうまえ)), then 2 minute walk For more information: 075-861-0343


Kyoto City and Muko City “Shakeout” Drill From 09:30 on Wednesday 11th March an earthquake drill will be held in Kyoto City and Muko City.

People in the Kyoto City area and Muko City area who have mobile phones (docomo, au, SoftBank) should have Emergency Warning updates sent to their phones. If you receive the warning and wish to take part in the earthquake drill, please follow these steps:

1. Crouch down into a low position;

2. Protect your body, particularly your head; 3. Do not move until the “shaking” stops.

Take part in the drill to practice what you should do in the event of an earthquake.


Kyoto Prefectural International Center Disaster Preparedness Handbook:

http://www.kpic.or.jp/content/files/njfumin/bousaie.pdf (English)



Kyoto Prefecture CIRs multicultural blog The Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) in Kyoto Prefecture have a blog, updated with various events and activities that they are doing. With a cheeky play on words in the title, the “Tabunka Kyosei in Kyoto Prefecture” (多文化(たぶんか)京(きょう)(共(きょう))生(せい)in京都府(きょうとふ)) blog lets you see what they get up to throughout the year! Written in both English and Japanese!



FM COCOLO -- Last broadcast in March 2015 Unfortunately FM COCOLO will make no more English and Chinese information broadcasts from the beginning of April 2015. Thank you all for tuning in, and thank you to everyone at FM COCOLO for their hard work.


*This month will see the last broadcasts:

Station Name: FM COCOLO (76.5MHz)

Program Name: Kyoto Prefecture Information Broadcast Days: Every Tuesday (Chinese) and Wednesday (English) ? 1.5 minutes each March Schedule: English on 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th at 16:15

                Chinese on 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th at 16:15


Those who have signed up to receive Kyoto Hot Information E-zine and would like to cancel their subscription, please send an e-mail to kokusai@pref.kyoto.lg.jp



If you have any comments or suggestions, please e-mail the Kyoto Prefecture International Affairs Division at kokusai@pref.kyoto.lg.jp . We look forward to hearing from you!


This email bulletin is published by International Affairs Division in the Kyoto Prefectural Government. (http://www.pref.kyoto.jp)



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