Saimyoji Temple in Kawagoe light up their temple at night at different times of the year. The temple light up is in support of and creating awareness of various causes. For example, this post was first published about the light up in solidarity of and fundraising for the people of Turkey, after the Turkey Syria Earthquake in March 2023. But the first light up I went to at this temple, was actually in 2020. For their annual light up event in October for pink ribbon month. They also have light up for coming-out-day, also in October. In addition, they light the temple up in blue for Autism Awareness in April.
Saimyoji Temple Pink Ribbon Light Up
Annually, for pink ribbon month, Saimyouji have a pink ribbon hanachozu in their largest water font. It has beautiful pink ribbons weaved through the flowers. Moreover, each night they light the temple up pink. The period of light up in 2023 is from October 1st to 29th.
Pink Ribbon Festival
For one day during pink ribbon month they have a pink ribbon festival. In 2023 it is on Saturday October 28th from 3 pm to 6 pm. There is a market on from 3 to 5 pm. They invite breast cancer survivors to a free yoga event (advance application). From 5.30 pm they launch pink colored sky lanterns into the sky. Please follow Saimyouji on Instagram for the most up-to-date information.
Coming-out-day light up
Each year they light up the temple up in rainbow colors for coming out day, which is on October 11th annually. The temple is lit up in one color of the rainbow from 5 pm to 11 pm for the occasion. It changes color every hour, working through six colors of the rainbow from red (first) to purple (last).
Hanachozu Light Up
Saimyoji have hanachozu (water fonts with floating flowers) all year round. There are at least five at any one given time, of which two are a “pair” set – two hanachozu side by side. Each week the theme normally changes for the pair hanachozu. From October 2023 there is also a brand new hanachozu. Furthermore, since spring 2023 they light the hanachozu displays up every night until 9 pm.
Other events / news March 2023
Since the start of the year Saimyoji has a pink ribbon day every month on the 19th. In February of this year they introduced a new hanachozu ‘gacha’ capsule machine in collaboration with a local support facility for people with special needs. Each capsule contains a hanachozu badge, made by members of the support facility. One capsule costs 200 yen. There are six different types, one of which is a surprise!
Since March 15th 2023 there is a new flower arrangement at the temple, as pictured above. Flowers hang from the temple gate by the pair hanachozu. For pink ribbon month they also have pink ribbons hanging from the display. Saimyoji is also currently participating in a hanachozu photo contest too:
Event: Saimyoji Temple Pink Ribbon Light up
Date: For pink ribbon month from Sunday October 1st to Sunday October 29th 2023.
Time: from 6 pm to 9 pm
Cost: a donation
Venue: Saimyoji Temple¹, 61 Ogaya, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-1104. View on Google Maps.
¹I actually normally write the temple name as Saimyouji, but it is often searched for as “Saimyoji” so I have used that spelling mainly in this post. In addition, Saimyouji / Saimyoji is also written as Yokoyamasaimyo Temple (on Google Maps) as well as Saimyouzi (on the official website) and variations of Saimyouji or Saimyo / Saimyou Temple! In Japanese its 瑶光山最明寺 or 最明寺.
The temple is about an 11 minute walk from Nishi-Kawagoe station on the Kawagoe Line. From either Kawagoe, Hon-Kawagoe or Kawagoeshi stations you can get any bus bound for Kawagoe Suijo Koen – 川越水上公園. The temple is within walking distance; located on the east side of Kawagoe Park. There is a car park for the temple, but please note you have to use very narrow residential roads to get to it.
Editor’s note: for Turkey from Saturday March 11th to Friday March 31st 2023.