Zenkoji Omotesando Illumination
Established in 642, Zenko-ji Temple is the spiritual and physical heart from which Nagano City grew. The road leading to the temple, known as the Omotesando or ‘Pilgrims Path’ now connects the city’s main train station to the temple and through winter each year bursts into light with the Zenko-ji Omotesando Illumination.
From early-November until mid-February, the Omotesando will be illuminated, creating an avenue of light leading to the temple; followed by the main event, the illumination of the temple precinct from mid-December with lighting and projections transforming the temple into an imagined Buddhist paradise – an ephemeral world of purple and violet, silver and golden light.
The traditional road of pilgrimage and temple itself will be a place of enchantment, an illumination of the mind reflected in the light. In the crisp air of late-autumn and early-winter, this vivid awakening of the city’s heart is certain to leave a lasting impression.
If you would like to experience the illumination on a guided tour, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination Tour combines a visit to the monkey park with early evening dinner at Monzen Terrace Enya followed by enjoyment of the illuminated temple at night.