Well it is a little bit past Tanabata o'clock but I thought I'd share a few piccies of this very special evening a couple of Tanabata's ago.
In the month of August Kibune shrine, in the northern mountains of Kyoto, hosts a special musical event for Tanabata.
When we visited two years ago there was a wonderful, lively duet playing by lantern light in the shrine's grounds. The atmosphere was very relaxed with a real sense of community and appreciation. And more than a hint of romance.
Whilst in another part of the shrine, dedicated to god of water and rain, is a natural spring - famous for its matchmaking properties and on this night in particular Kyoto-ites pray to meet or keep the gal or guy of their dreams.
Wait patiently and all will be revealed - as the water soaks into the paper a secret love fortune appears....It was a truly lovely experience - even though the hike up the hill from the station on a summer's eve was a little much for this heat-exhausted bod to cope with but in the end it was worth it - and the walk back down was a doddle - especially as we managed to hop a ride with a local shuttle bus driver part of the way.
We were a little bit late in the evening to find anywhere that would take us - they were closing up for the night but this gives you some idea of the experience
Thank you to our beautiful friends Michiko and Paul for introducing us to this event and sharing the evening with us xx
To reach Kibune Shrine -take the Eizan Kurama Line from Demachiyanagi station just north of the main city hub - to Kibune Guchi station.
It takes about 30 minutes and costs 420 yen. The trains depart fairly regularly.
From Kibune guchi station it is about a 30 minute walk up a steep hill - or you can catch the bus if you can get a seat!
Perhaps you are interested in JANE LAWSON'S KYOTO CUISINE & CULTURE TOURS