Home > Kyoto Annual Events > Archive - January

January Event Highlights 2020
*Time, dates and information of events are subject to change.




Jan. 1-3
Obuku-cha New Year's Tea Service


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Rokuhara Mitsuji Temple; A cup of green tea made with pure water drawn on New Year's Day will be served to visitors; It is believed that drinking this tea at the beginning of the year can prevent illness throughout the year.

300 yen for Obuku-cha tea; 9:00-17:00; Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; rokuhara.or.jp


Jan. 2-4
New Year Calligraphy


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine; The deity of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine is Michizane Sugawara, an important court officer as well as a gifted poet and calligrapher in the Heian period (794-1185); People try the first calligraphy of the year (10:00-16:00); From 13:00 on the 3rd, kyogen comic theatre will be performed.

Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; kitanotenmangu.or.jp


Jan. 3
Karuta Hajime


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Yasaka Shrine; At 13:00, fourteen women dressed in Heian period court costumes play karuta (a traditional Japanese card game introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century).

Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 4
Kemari Hajime


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Shimogamo Shrine; Kemari, a kind of football game dating from the Heian period (794-1185), is played here by men in court costumes starting at 13:30.

Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamojinja-mae; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 7
New Year's White Horse Ritual

At Kamigamo Shrine; White horses have long been a sacred symbol in Shinto; Seeing a white horse at the beginning of the year is believed to ward off bad fortunes; Special porridge will be offered to the deity as well as a sacred white horse will be led in front of the deity at noon, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00.

Ceremony starts from 10:00; Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Kamigamo Misonobashi; www.kamigamojinja.jp


Jan. 8-14
Winter Alms Collecting

At Shogo-in Temple and in the city; Yamabushi (mountain monks) depart for their annual alms collecting (at 13:00 on the 8th) and walk around the city blowing conch shell horns and chanting the heart sutra; Making donation to the monks is believed to give blessings.

Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kumano Jinja-mae; www.shogoin.or.jp


Jan. 9
Ebisu Festival


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Yasaka Shrine: From 15:00 on the 9th, a boat carrying Shichifukujin, the seven gods of good fortune, will be paraded between Shijo Karasuma and Yasaka Shrine; An auspicious bamboo decoration will be presented to visitors on both days.

Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 10-12
Gafu Bonsai Exhibition

At the Miyako Messe; Over 1,200 bonsai dwarf trees will be exhibited; These special trees have been carefully cultivated by famous bonsai specialists.

800 yen; 9:30-16:30 (until 16:00 on the last day); Kyoto City Bus #5, #100, get off at Okazakikoen Bijutsukan Heian Jingu-mae; www.miyakomesse.jp


Jan. 12
New Year Japanese Archery Competition


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Sanjusangen-do Temple; It's an interesting challenge to shoot an arrow from one end of the building to the other at it's 120 meters long; Since the event takes place on the day before Coming of Age Day, many of the contestants are 20 years old dressed in colorful kimono.

Admission free (generally 600 yen); 9:00-15:30; Kyoto City Bus #100, 206, get off at Hakubutsukan Sanjusangendo-mae; sanjusangendo.jp


Jan. 13
Seijin-no-hi Coming-of-Age Day

At various sites throughout Kyoto; On this day, young men and women who have reached 20-years old celebrate their coming of age; Young women dressed in gorgeous kimono can be seen all over the city, but Heian Shrine and Yasaka Shrine in the Gion area are the best places to view this colorful event in dramatic Japanese surroundings.


Jan. 15-31
Azuki-gayu Festival


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Torin-in Temple in Myoshin-ji Temple Complex; Kyoto people believe that eating red bean rice porridge (azuki-gayu) at the beginning of the year will prevent illness.

3,800 yen (plum tea, azuki-gayu, shojin vegetarian cuisine included; reservations not required); 11:00-15:00; JR Sagano Line, Hanazono Stn.; www.myoshinji.or.jp


Jan. 16
Busha Shinji

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kamigamo Shrine; A Japanese archery event will be held from 10:30 to ward off the bad luck of the coming year; There are demons painted on the rear of each target.

Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Kamigamo Misonobashi; www.kamigamojinja.jp


Jan. 20
Yutate Kagura Ceremony


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Jonan-gu Shrine; A miko, a shrine maiden, holding a bamboo shoot, scatters boiling water from the large iron pot swiftly around to get rid of bad spirits and pray for good health for the new-year.

From 14:00; A 15-min. walk from Subway Karasuma Line or Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Takeda Stn.; www.jonangu.com







Temple & Shrine Flea Markets



© AD BRAIN INC. KYOTO VISITOR'S GUIDE


Jan. 5
Flea Market at To-ji Temple: 7:00-16:00

Jan. 8, 18, 28
Handicraft Market at Toyokuni Shrine: 10:00-15:00

Jan. 11
Heian Rakuichi Market at Okazaki Park: 10:00-16:00

Jan. 15
Handicraft Market at Chion-ji Temple: 8:00-16:00

Jan. 21
Kobo-san Flea Market at To-ji Temple: 8:00-16:00

Jan. 26
Kamigamo Handcraft Market at Kamigamo Shrine: 9:00-16:00

Jan. 25
Tenjin-san Flea Market at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine: 7:00-16:30


NOTE: Markets shut down much earlier in autumn and winter; When the days get longer and warmer, sellers tend to stay a little longer.