The five-storey pagoda at Rurikoji Temple in Yamaguchi will light up with 1,000 candles

The autumn illumination takes place this September and October – and you can even watch it online

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Japan is a beautiful country with a diverse range of iconic scenery and landmarks. Although travel has been seriously curtailed this year due to Covid-19 coronavirus, many events and festivals have moved into the World Wide Web for everyone to enjoy regardless of where they are.

One such event is the upcoming autumn illumination at Rurikoji Temple in Yamaguchi prefecture. The temple is best known for its majestic five-storey pagoda, which is considered by locals to be one of the most beautiful pagodas in all of Japan. It's also one of the oldest of such structures still standing in the country and it's no surprise that the pagoda is designated as a national treasure.

This illumination event commemorates the 600th anniversary of Sesshu Toyo, an esteemed artist and monk who resided and worked at the temple. To celebrate the milestone, the pathway leading to the pagoda will be lit up with 1,000 candles over two weekends: September 26-27 as well as October 10-11. The light-up will run from 6.30pm to 9pm, pending weather conditions.

Not to worry if you can’t make it IRL. A video of the illumination has been posted on Yamaguchi prefecture’s YouTube channel. If you want to catch it live, temple admission is free but the event will limit the number of visitors as a coronavirus prevention measure. To coincide with the illumination, the Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum will also be hosting an exhibition dedicated to Sesshu Toyo. 

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