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October Event Highlights 2016

See, touch and experience the Old Capital What's on this month!
*Time, dates and information of events are subject to change.

Pick Up Event

Jidai Matsuri Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The rich costume pageant portraying Kyoto's history
In 1895, Kyoto city held its first Jidai Matsuri Festival: a colorful, exotic costume parade dedicated to the Old Capital's 1100 year history. The first festival also marked the opening of Heian Shrine, a 2/3 scale model of Kyoto's original imperial palace. The shrine was specially built to enshrine the spirit of Emperor Kammu (reigning 781-806), who founded Kyoto in 794, and was the city's last reigning emperor and Emperor Komei (reigning 1847-1866). Today, after nearly 120 years, the Jidai Matsuri Festival continues to be a major focus of pride for the city of Kyoto. For most visitors, the festival's biggest attraction lies in the fantastic range of authentic historical costumes, covering twelve centuries of Kyoto's history and social development, worn by the participants.

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The festival begins at seven in the morning on the 22nd with the transferal, on sacred palanquins (a covered seat carried on poles on the shoulders of two or four people), of the imperial spirits from Heian Shrine to the Old Imperial Palace. At around 12:00, the southern central axis of the Old Imperial Palace becomes a massive stage of the ages. The procession departs from here and slowly makes its way through the streets of Kyoto to Heian Shrine. *See the map below for the procession route, details and approximate procession passing times.

The Jidai Matsuri Festival parade viewing seat tickets: 2,050 yen (reserved seating with a pamphlet; not refundable); Venue: Kyoto Imperial Park / Oike Street / Jingu-michi
Ticket available at: Kyoto Tourist Information Center (Kyo Navi: 8:30-19:00 daily); Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto by JTB (10:00-18:00 daily); www.tic-kansai.jp/kyoto/ ; Kyoto Tourist Information Center by H.I.S. (9:00-18:00 daily); his-kyoto.com/ ; Osaka Tourist Information Center by H.I.S. (9:00-21:00 daily); his-osaka.com/ ; *Parade viewing seat tickets with English guidance are available. (http://www.kyoto-magonote.jp/en/) ; *Ticket price will be set separately.

Pick Up Events2

Meet the Elegant and Wondrous World of Geiko and Maiko

Mizuekai in Miyagawacho (2015)

Most everyone who visits Kyoto is hoping for the chance to meet a real geiko or maiko in person. In reality, these opportunities are few and far between, limited perhaps to the occasional glimpse of a graceful form flowing quickly through the streets headed to a predestined engagement.

However, October and November are the special months that visitors, fortunately, have an opportunity to appreciate the elegant dance shows of all five kagai (geiko/maiko districts in Kyoto). Join one or more of the wonderful dance shows by geiko and maiko this month, and you will be infatuated with their beauty...

Oct. 1-6: Onshukai in Gion Kobu
Reserved seats: 8,500 yen, non-reserved seats: 4,000 yen; From16:00; At Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-1115; www.miyako-odori.jp

Oct. 6-9: Mizuekai in Miyagawacho
First seats: 8,000 yen, second seats: 4,000 yen; From16:00 (from 13:00 on 8th & 9th); At Miyagawacho Kaburenjo Theatre; Access: Keihan Gion Shijo Stn.; Tel: 075-561-1151; www.miyagawacho.jp

Oct. 8-12: Kotobukikai in Kamishichiken
Reserved seats: 8,000 yen; From 16:00 (from 13:00 on 9th); At Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theatre; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kamishichiken; Tel: 075-461-0148; www.maiko3.com

Oct. 27-30: Suimeikai in Pontocho
Reserved seats: 8,000 yen or 7,000 yen, non-reserved seat: 3,000 yen; From 16:00; At Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Kawaramachi Sanjo; Tel: 075-221-2025; www.kamogawa-odori.com

Nov. 1-10: Gion Odori in Gion Higashi
Reserved seats with tea service: 4,500 yen, without tea service: 4,000 yen; From 13:30 and 16:00; At Gion Kaikan Hall; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-0224; www.gionhigashi.com

Every Day
Sagano Romantic Train Ride

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The Sagano Romantic Train route (7.3 km) runs from Saga to Kameoka along a gorgeous river gorge and passes through 8 old tunnels; No service on Wed. (except for holidays and tourist season).

Tickets: 620 yen (one way); Access: JR Sagano Line, Saga Arashiyama Stn.; Sagano Kanko Tetsudo: Tel: 075-861-7444; https://www.sagano-kanko.co.jp/

Every Day
Hozugawa Kudari River Run

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The Hozugawa Kudari is a river ride that goes from Kameoka to Arashiyama, Kyoto (about 16 km in 2 hours) along a stunning river gorge of rapids with wonderful mountain views; Boats depart every hour between 9:00-15:30 (the last boat departs at 15:30). *Operated irregularly on Sat., Sun., National holidays.

Tickets: 4,100 yen; Access: An 8-min. walk from the north exit of JR Sagano Line Kameoka Stn.; Hozugawa Yusen Association: Tel: 0771-22-5846; www.hozugawakudari.jp

Every Day
Tour around the Sake Brewery Town
Fushimi Jukkoku-bune Boat Ride

Jukkoku-bune is a boat that carried sake, rice and passengers on the Yodo River in the Edo period (1600-1868). The revived boat carries 15 passengers and the tour takes about 55-mins. round trip and runs in the Uji River where willow trees and sake breweries are making a great scenery. These special boats depart from the back of Gekkeikan Okura Memorial Museum to the Fushimi Port Park.

Tickets: 1,200 yen, 600 yen (6-12 years old), 300 yen (5 years and younger); 10:00-16:20; No service on Monday between June and September (available if Monday is a national holiday); Access: Kintetsu Line, Momoyama goryo-mae Stn., or Keihan Line, Chushojima Stn.; Tel: 075-623-1030; kyoto-fushimi-kanko.jp/ship/

Oct. 1-5
Zuiki Festival at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This festival is held to celebrate the autumn harvest; Two mikoshi portable shrines, decorated with zuiki (taro stems), will be displayed and paraded around the area.

13:00-16:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; Tel: 075-461-0005; kitanotenmangu.or.jp

Oct. 7-10
Autumn Konpira Festival at Yasui Konpiragu Shrine

The important annual festival ceremonies will be held from the 7th; The enshrined deity will be transferred to the portable shrine from 20:00 on the same day (photo taking is prohibited during the ceremony); On the 9th, the special prayer making wish for world peace will be held from 11:00; On the 10th, from 9:00, a final festival will be held to close this year's celebration.

Admission free: Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Yasui; Tel: 075-561-5127; www.yasui-konpiragu.or.jp

Oct. 8-10
Mibu Kyogen at Mibu Temple

Mibu Kyogen is an ancient form of silent theatre in which performers wearing special masks dance to the music of bells, drums and flutes; Five different plays will be performed each day between 13:00 and 17:30.

Entry: 800 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Mibudera-michi; Tel: 075-841-3381; www.mibudera.com

Oct. 9
The 14th Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa

A variety of events and contest will be held throughout the day organized by Kyoto's college & university students; About 1,000 dancers will gather and perform together as a main opening of the dance contest; Fashion contest judged by professionals, and many more.

Admission free; 11:00-19:00; Surrounding area of Heian Jingu Shrine and Okazaki Park; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Jingu-michi; Tel: 075-353-9432; www.kyoto-gakuseisaiten.com

Oct. 9
Autumn Harvest Festival at Shimogamo Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

During this autumn festival, held from 13:30, people pray for a good harvest and good luck in business; Traditional entertainment and music will also be performed.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamojinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp

Oct. 14
Doll Memorial Service at Hokyo-ji Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This temple possesses dolls that belonged to successive imperial princesses; Today, the general public also bring their Japanese dolls (traditionally used as a form of protection for girls) to this memorial service; The reception starts at 10:00 and the ceremony starts from 10:30; A dance performance by a geisha from the Shimabara district will also be featured.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Teranouchi; Tel: 075-451-1550; www.hokyoji.net

Oct. 14-16
Kiyomizu-yaki Danchi Pottery Festival in Yamashina

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Colorful Kiyomizu-yaki ceramics are one of Kyoto's most popular craft forms; On these three days, many stalls near the major kilns in Yamashina will be selling all kinds of ceramic work at very reasonable prices; Hands-on pottery experience, live music performances and other events will also be staged.

Admission free; 9:30-17:00; A special shuttle bus service between Kyoto Stn. and the event venue will run all three days (departing every 15 min.); Tel: 075-581-6188; www.kiyomizuyaki.or.jp

Oct. 14-16
Performance Art and Small Market at Hannya-rin near Shokokuji Temple

This is an open air performance in which the audience can participate to restage the art of Gei-akindo (merchant performance to sell goods) from the Edo period; Street performances, and also a small market of old antiques, toys, etc. will be held.

Ticket: 2,000 yen (adults); 1,000 yen (children); Hannya-rin, in front of the north gate of Shokokuji Temple; Access: Kyoto Subway Kuramaguchi Stn.; Tel: 075-211-0138 (Osadajuku); www.osada-jyuku.com

Oct. 15
''SALSA CANDELA'' Kyoto Latin Dance & Music Festival at Maruyama Park Music Concert Hall

Kyoto's popular annual salsa & music festival which will be held in the open-air site in the Maruyama Park.

Tickets: 2,500 yen (incl. after-party; 2,000 yen in advance); 14:00-19:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Reservation can be made through Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/548828695242199/

Oct. 16
Saigu Procession at Nonomiya Shrine and Togetsu-kyo Bridge

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

In ancient times, the imperial family sent their princesses to Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture to serve as shrine maidens; Based on this history, a gorgeous Heian period procession passes through the Arashiyama area; The procession departs from Nonomiya Shrine at noon and goes over the Togetsu-kyo Bridge, and finally arrives at Arashiyama Port (at 13:30); After the procession, a purification ritual is held from 14:00.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Nonomiya; Tel: 075-871-1972; www.nonomiya.com

Oct. 16
Kasagake Ritual at Kamigamo Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kasagake, dating back about 800 years, is Japan's oldest horseback archery ritual (during which arrows are shot from a galloping horse); This interesting & dynamic event begins at 13:00.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, get off at Kamigamojinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp

Oct. 16
Twenty-five Bosatsu Procession at Sokujoin Temple in Sennyu-ji Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

On this day, from 13:00, 25 children wearing gorgeous masks and Buddhist costumes will walk through the precinct with about 200 other participants.

Entry: 1,000 yen (main hall); Access: Kyoto City Bus #208, get off at Sennyuji-michi; Tel: 075-561-3443; www.gokurakujyoudo.org

Oct. 22
Kurama Fire Festival in Kurama

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The festival begins at sunset with the lighting of fire lanterns in front of each house; The highlight of the festival is watching the men in traditional clothing as they walk up through the village straining under the weight of huge fire torches (5-6 meters long, weighing over 100 kg); Around 20:00, a group of cheering men race up the stairs to Yuki Shrine carrying a large mikoshi (portable shrine) to make the annual offering to the gods.

Admission free; Access: Eizan Railways Kurama Stn. (from Demachiyanagi Stn.); *After 17:00, expect to wait in line and be packed in; It's best to go early and leave early.

Oct. 25
Nukiho Festival at Fujimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine has long been worshipped as the deity of good harvest, especially rice; There are rice paddies in the precinct and they hold rituals related to rice throughout the year and this is the one celebrating the harvesting rice.

Admission free; From 10:00; Access: JR Nara line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Fushimi Inari Stn.; Tel: 075-641-7331; inari.jp

Oct. 29-30
Kyotographer - Special Photo Exhibition

In a gallery with a masterful presentation of photographic pieces of art combined with traditional Japanese handicrafts, D. Moritz Marutschke presents for the first time after more than 20 years of photographing, his view of Kyoto in a traditional Kyoto-style Machiya house. You will discover exclusive limited edition products giving a Japanese touch to your office or home, as well as valuable presents for your friends and/or customers.

Open: 10:00-16:00; The gallery is situated in a classical private Japanese house; One street east of Horikawa, north of Ichijo.; For detailed information and contact, visit: www.kyotographer.com

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets

Oct. 2
To-ji Temple: This market is focused on antiques of all kinds; Usually not too crowded and great value all around; 7:00-16:00.

Oct. 8, 18, 28
Toyokuni Shrine: A very small market of local products; 10:00-15:00.

Oct. 15
Chion-ji Temple: Kyoto's biggest handicraft market; An absolutely amazing range of handmade things and incredible prices too!; 8:00-16:00.

Oct. 21
To-ji Temple: Also known as Kobo-san, this mega temple market offers everything and is extremely popular; Go early, especially if on a weekend or a national holiday; 7:00-17:00.

Sept. 23
Kamigamo Shrine: Handicrafts, arts, food, and more; 9:00-16:00.

Oct. 25
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine: Also known as Tenjin-san, this super shrine market sprawls in and around this major shrine complex; 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.