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Tuesday, 22nd October 2013
In Events In Japan,

Kyoto temple goes pink for cancer battle

A temple in the Japanese city of Kyoto took the fight against cancer to a whole new level last week when the lights used to illuminate it during the evening were turned a vibrant shade of pink.

Kiyomizu, considered by some the centrepiece of Kyoto's many Buddhist temples and shrines, was completely transformed by the rosy glow.

Tourists and natives alike took to Twitter and Facebook to express their admiration and wonderment of the illumination, no doubt helping the monks achieve their mission of raising breast cancer awareness.

However, while the intentions of those running the temple are admirable, it has since come to light that the reasons for transforming Kiyomizu are actually financial, with the new pink light emitting diodes (LEDs) said to be much cheaper to run than the original lighting system.

Shoin Onishi, one of the chief monks, explained that the burden of running the shrine had become too high and that LEDs were brought in courtesy of Panasonic in order to cut the electricity bills by up to 83 per cent.

Kiyomizu will keep its rosy tint throughout October, which is traditionally celebrated as breast cancer awareness month, before the LEDs are replaced to restore the usual lighting conditions.

Those who wish to visit can find the temple on the hills east of Kyoto, where it is particularly visible at night. Its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful architecture and historical appeal have earned it a protected status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other must-see tourist spots throughout the former capital of Japan include the previous Imperial Palace, the Golden Pavilion and the Sanjusangen-do Buddhist temple which hosts reams of life-sized statues.

As well as its historical heritage, Kyoto has a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of locations for tourists to participate in karaoke and sample sake.

Written by Mark Smith

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Kyoto named world's best city by Travel + Leisure for second consecutive year (8th July 2015)
Kyoto acclaimed as best travel destination (8th July 2014)
New drive to save Kyoto's historic narrow homes (8th December 2014)