Special night visits to pray amid blooming cherry blossoms opened at Daigoji Temple in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward on March 20.
With weeping cherry blossoms in full bloom and eye-catching in white, prayers were held for peace and to drive off the novel coronavirus at the "Sakura Night Prayer" memorial service.
The event marked the first time that Daigoji Temple has opened to the public at night in the spring. Either the Reihokan museum or Sanboin temple on its premises will be open to the public during the nighttime visiting period.
The Reihokan is holding a special exhibition including the "Yakushi Sanzon Statue," a national treasure, and the garden that 16th-century warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi made to host the lavish "Daigo no Hanami" cherry-viewing party is also lit up at the Sanboin.
"It is a really difficult time at the moment, but the beautiful cherry blossoms at night gave me energy," said a man who visited Daigoji for sightseeing.
Advance reservations for viewing will be given priority to avoid congestion. Admission is divided into three time slots: 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a capacity of 150 people for each. The memorial service will be held from 6:45 p.m.
Special night visits (paid) will be open until April 11th (closed on March 27).