1. Chushu-no-meigetsu (harvest moon) is a beloved sight around August 15 in the old Japanese calendar (mid-September in the modern calendar). About this time of year, the full moon appears especially majestic in the clear sky and air. This attracts many enthusiasts to a spectacular night of moon watching.
2. “Evening of Kangetsu” is a special event during Chushu-no-meigetsu. Kyoto people enjoy moon watching while savoring green tea, seated in boats called gekisu-bune in the Osawa-ike pond at Daikaku-ji temple. This is known as one of Three Greatest Moon Observation Spots in Japan.
3. The Japanese custom of moon watching is believed to have originated during the Heian Era. According to ancient lore, the Evening of Kangetsu began in the early 9th century, when the Emperor Saga provided a boat in Osawaji-ike.
4. In olden times, people believed that the moon exerts its spiritual power to grant wishes only when reflected in water or a mirror. Thus, it became more popular to observe the moon on the surface of a pond or in a glass of sake, rather than viewing it directly. So if you join the Evening of Kangetsu, look for not only the radiant full moon in the night sky, but also its serene image reflected in the placid water of a pond.