Zenkoji illumination begins

An annual lighting up the famous Zenkoji temple began on Wednesday evening in Nagano, central Japan.

The event commemorates the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

The temple's main building was lit up in 5 colors as a tribute to the Olympics.

With the Winter Games in PyeongChang approaching, laser images of skating and skiing athletes were projected onto the gates of the temple.

Lanterns decorated with paper cutouts of cranes, doves and other symbols of peace lined the stone-paved street leading to the temple. The warm lights of the lanterns welcomed visitors in the cold.

A woman from Nara, western Japan, said the lanterns were so beautiful they slowed her pace as she took in the details of each one. She said she hopes the world will continue in peace.

The event is held every night through Monday.