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February Event Highlights 2018
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 1

Getting Rid of Misfortune & Welcoming Spring

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

February 3rd, one day before Risshun (the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar), is called Setsubun in Japan, and Mame-maki (bean throwing) ceremonies are performed on the day. Visit shrines and temples near you to get beans and obtain good fortune in Kyoto on Setsubun!

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Yasaka Shrine (Feb. 2 & 3)

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The ceremony starts from 13:00; Auspicious soy bean scattering, ama-sake (Japanese sweet sake) service and amulet offering; Beautiful maiko from all four of Kyoto's Kagai will join the bean scattering (dance from 13:00 & 15:00); Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-6155; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp

Suga Shrine (Feb. 2 & 3)

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 15:00 on the 2nd, the bean scattering ceremony will be held; Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kumano Jinja-mae; Tel: 075-771-1178.

Yoshida Shrine (Feb. 2-4)

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Largest Setsubun festival in the city; People come to burn old amulets, papers and other personal possessions in a huge bonfire; A number of food stalls lined up until very late; The Setsubun ritual is from 18:00 on the 2nd; On the 3rd, the Karo-sai festival will be held from around 23:00 and its grounds will be packed with many people; Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kyodai Seimon-mae; Tel: 075-771-3788; www.yoshidajinja.com

Rozan-ji Temple (Feb. 3)

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Known as Oni Odori (demon dance), the Oni demon dance (from 15:00), and bean scattering from 16:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Furitsu Idai Byoin-mae; Tel: 075-231-0355.

Heian Jingu Shrine (Feb. 3)

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kyogen performance (11:30-14:00), Setsubun Festival (from 13:00), auspicious bean scattering (from 15:00); Free amasake service (all day); Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan Heian Jingumae; Tel: 075-761-0221; www.heianjingu.or.jp

Pick Up Event 2

OPEN YOUR SIGHTE 2018. 2.18-25

Unveiling factories and studios in the cultural capital: Witness the birth of innovation

Taking place for the third time, DESIGN WEEK KYOTO (DWK) returns once more this year. Since 2016, DWK has aimed to offer an experience that offers new ''insights'' and triggers synergetic innovation inside and outside Kyoto that goes beyond industry, culture and country. Such a great opportunity awaits when ''Open Factory,'' housing a variety of factories, workshops, ateliers, offices, stores and universities, in which creation is born every day, open to the public. ''Open Factory'' events have been gathering attention recently both domestically and internationally. Inspired by DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND that takes place in one of the most creative cities in the United States, DESIGN WEEK KYOTO is determined to provide an open and innovative experience. In addition to the open factories, this year will be the first time that organized tours and speaking events will be offered.

Approx. 25 factories and sites within and around Kyoto City will be opened, enabling visitors to see how articles are produced by craftspeople and artists as well as offering the chance to engage in conversations with the producers. Most importantly, these experiences will encourage the formation of new ideas and products through insights and connections made during the event. Join DWK and witness an interaction between local manufacturing and creative industries.

DATE : February 18th, 2018
TIME : From 17:00 *Contact us for more information
VENUE : WORLD, KYOTO (BF Imagium Bldg, 97 Shinmachi Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto)
Admission : 3,000 yen

Every Day
Hozu River Boat Ride

On Hozu River; 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 10:00-14:30 (the last boat departs at 14:30); No operation on Feb. 7.

4,100 yen, 2,700 yen (4-12 years old); An 8-min. walk from the north exit of JR Sagano Line Kameoka Stn.; Hozugawa Yusen Association: Tel: 0771-22-5846; www.hozugawakudari.jp

Fri., Sat., Sun. until Mar. 4
Night Time Tea Ceremony Tour

At Kodaiji Temple; Founded by Nene, the wife of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, to commemorate his spirit in the 16th century; The tour includes tea ceremony, entry to the garden and a Japanese dinner (the tour lasts about 2.5 hours).

6,000 yen (reservation required by the previous day); sign-up 17:00-18:00; Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Yasui; Tel: 075-561-9966; www.kodaiji.com

Until Mar. 4
Kyoto Ikebana Flower Arrangement Exhibition

In the JR Kyoto Station Shinkansen Concourse; Masters from various ikebana schools will display their exquisite ikebana works as a special way of welcoming visitors; To enter the concourse, buy a platform ticket (120 yen).

6:00-23:00; JR Kyoto Stn.; Kyoto City Tourism Association: Tel: 075-213-1717.

Until Mar. 11
Toei Kyoto Studio Park Winter Festival

At Toei Kyoto Studio Park; Come and experience all kinds of ninja shows and trainings, including a powerful Ninja Show with 3D projection mapping; Many more fun and exciting amusement attractions.

2,200 yen (adults); 1,300 yen (age 13-18); 1,100 yen (age 3-12); 9:30-16:30 (until 20:00 on Sat., Sun. & national holidays); JR Sagano Line, Uzumasa Stn. or Subway Tozai Line, Uzumasa Tenjingawa Stn.; www.toei-eigamura.com/

Until Mar. 14
Kyoto Aquarium x Cinnamoroll

At Kyoto Aquarium; Unique, full scale aquarium offering a glimpse of the ocean in the heart of the city; Collaborated on various fun events with ''Cinnamoroll,'' a cute animation character; Stamp rally, limited-time collaborated cafe and selling original goods, and much more!

2,050 yen (adults); 10:00-18:00; About 10-min. walk from Kyoto Stn.; Tel: 075-354-3130; www.kyoto-aquarium.com

Jan. 27 - Feb. 3
Miyama Yukitouro

In Miyama Village: Miyama is a charming old village out of Kyoto City where the old folk culture of thatched roof houses and countryside life are still alive; Traditional thatched roof houses will be magically lit-up with a number of lanterns; Gorgeous fireworks on the first and last day (from 18:40).

Access: Take JR Sagano Line from Kyoto Stn. to Hiyoshi, and take the local bus to Kita Stop; www.yukitouro.jp

Feb. 1
Yutate Ritual

At Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine; The holy water will be boiled in a big iron pot and offered to the deity; A miko, a shrine maiden, holding a bamboo shoot will scatter the water swiftly around the area to dispel bad spirits and pray for good health for the year.

Ritual starts from 12:00; Take cable car from Yawata Stn. on Keihan Line; Tel: 075-981-3001; www.iwashimizu.or.jp

Feb. 2 & 3
Mibu Kyogen

At Mibu Temple: Mibu Kyogen performances (every hour between 13:00 and 20:00; Free of charge), a procession, goma prayer-stick burning fire ceremony, and special prayers.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Mibudera-michi; www.mibudera.com

Feb. 3
Setsubun Ritual in Machiya Town House

At Tondaya; An exquisite cultural facility where people can learn about and enjoy Kyoto's traditional lifestyle forms; Learn about Setsubun culture in this exquisite machiya town house filled with Kyoto's beautiful essence.

Lunch 8,000 yen (11:00-14:00); Dinner 15,000 yen (17:00-20:00); Lecture and machiya visit + tea ceremony + light meal (reservations required from 2 people); Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Ichijo Modoribashi Seimeijinja-mae; Tel: 075-432-6701; www.tondaya.co.jp

Feb. 3
Jingu-michi Pottery Market

Along Jingumichi (south of Heian Shrine); The monthly pottery market where a variety of Japanese pottery works are gathered; Held on the first Sat. of every month.

11:00-17:00; Kyoto City Bus #5, #100, get off at Okazaki-koen Bijutsukan Heian Jingu-mae; www.kyoto-okazaki.jp/en/

Feb. 7
Hatsu Uma Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Fushimi Inari Shrine; Festival held from 8:00; Based on the legend that the shrine deity, Inari (protector of grains, especially rice, and thus wealth/business in general), descended from heaven to the top of Mt. Inari; People pray for success in business and a healthy family life.

JR Nara Line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Railways Main Line, Fushimi Inari Stn.; Tel: 075-641-7331; inari.jp

Feb. 8
Hari Kuyo Ceremony for Pins & Needles

At Kokuzo Horin-ji Temple; The deity of needle work and entertainment; Professional seamstresses and housewives stick their used needles in a slab of rubbery jelly; Prayers at 13:00; Ama-sake (Japanese sweet sake) will be offered.

Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Arashiyama Koen; Tel: 075-862-0013; www.kokuzohourinji.com

Feb. 9-12
Hatsu Uma Daikon Radish Ceremony

At Sanzen-in Temple; A boiled white radish organically grown in the Ohara area will be offered to visitors free of charge; Prayers for health and good luck will be offered from 9:00.

700 yen; Kyoto Bus #17, 18, get off at Ohara; Tel: 075-744-2531; www.sanzenin.or.jp

Feb. 11
Kigen-sai Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kamigamo Shrine; The festival is to commemorate the coronation of Emperor Kanmu and a children's karate performance (from around 10:15) and kemari, an ancient style soccer game (from around 11:00) will be held in the precinct.

Kyoto City Bus #46, get off at Kamigamo Jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp

Feb. 11
Rice Porridge Offering

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Jonan-gu Shrine; To pray for health and longevity, rice porridge with seven different kinds of Japanese spring herbs will be offered (10:00-16:00; 500 yen per bowl).

600 yen (entry to the garden); Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3 from Subway Karasuma Line, Takeda Stn. to Jonangu Higashi-guchi; Tel: 075-623-0846; www.jonangu.com

Feb. 11
Hoshi Matsuri Fire Ceremony

At Agon-shu main temple; The festival is held every year on Feb. 11th at the main temple's grounds in Yamashina; The all-day ceremonies pray for world peace.

9:30-15:30; Take bus at Kyoto Station, Hachijoguchi exit, every 15 min., direct to site (about 20 min; 300 yen); Tel: 075-761-1141; www.agon.org

Feb. 11
Dance Show by Maiko

At Fureai-kan Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts; Dance performance by a real maiko (apprentice of geiko); 3 shows at 14:00, 14:30, 15:00 (each show lasts about 15 min.); Free of charge.

Kyoto City Bus #5, #100, get off at Okazakikoen Bijutsukan Heian Jingu-mae; kmtc.jp

Feb. 13
Nento-sai Festival

At Kamigamo Shrine; Based on the re-creation of an ancient ceremony that Heian-period aristocrats held to welcome spring; The ceremony starts from 14:00.

Kyoto City Bus #46, get off at Kamigamo Jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp

Until Feb. 18
Miyako Messe Illumination

Miyako Messe; The area around Miyako Messe will be beautifully lit-up.

17:00-22:30; Kyoto City Bus #5, #100, get off at Okazakikoen Bijutsukan Heian Jingumae; www.miyakomesse.jp

Feb. 18-Mar. 22
Weeping Plum Blossoms and Camellia

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Jonan-gu Shrine; More than 150 weeping plum trees create a beautiful contrast of red and white in the vast Rakusui-en Garden; 300 camellia trees will be in bloom in Feb. and Mar.

600 yen; 9:00-16:00; Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3 from Subway Karasuma Line, Takeda Stn. to Jonangu Higashi-guchi; Tel: 075-623-0846; www.jonangu.com

Feb. 23
Godai Rikison Ninno-e

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Daigo-ji Temple; An amazing competition in which people compete to lift enormous mochi rice cakes, men 150 kg and women 90 kg, starting around noon.

A 10-min. walk from Daigo Stn. on the Subway Tozai Line; Tel: 075-571-0002; www.daigoji.or.jp

Feb. 23
Godai Rikisan

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Juntei-do Hall in Sekizenin Temple; Five Forceful Bodhisattvas are displayed to the public only once a year; Worship led by yamabushi (mountain hermits) held from 13:00; Free soup made from a sake lees will be served.

10:30-17:00; Kyoto City Bus # 206, get off at Kumano Jinja-mae; 075-761-0541.

Feb. 24 & 25
Artists' Fair Kyoto

At Museum of Kyoto; A new-style art fair featuring 36 young contemporary artists in their 20s and 30s who were recommended by the forefront artists; More than 100 art works for exhibits and sale.

1,000 yen; Kyoto City Subway Karasuma Oike or Kyoto City Hall; Tel: 075-414-4221; www.facebook.com/artistsfairkyoto

Feb. 25
Baika-sai Plum Blossom Viewing Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine; A huge outdoor tea ceremony (from 10:00-15:00), performed by geiko and maiko; Whipped matcha green tea and a sweet for 1,500 yen (incl. entry to the Treasury Hall); The beautiful plum garden is open to the public from early Feb. to the end of Mar. (700 yen with tea and sweet).

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

Feb. 25
Dance Show by Geiko

At Fureai-kan Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts; Dance performance by a real geiko; 3 shows at 14:00, 14:30, 15:00 (each show lasts about 15 min.); Free of charge or 1,000 yen for a special ticket (limited 10 seats) including a seat in the first row, private photo shooting with a geiko.

Kyoto City Bus #5, #100, get off at Okazakikoen Bijutsukan Heian Jingu-mae; kmtc.jp

Expect major traffic congestion during the Kyoto
Marathon on Feb. 18

Due to the Kyoto Marathon 2018, major traffic restrictions will be in place all over the city on Feb. 18th. Many large streets will be closed off during key stages of the race and this will severely affect travel in the city. Many key bus lines will either shut down or use alternate routes. If you are in the city that day, be sure to plan.

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets


Feb. 4
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.

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

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

Feb. 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; 8:00-16:00.

Feb. 24
Kyoto Okazaki Marche: Strictly selected authentic handmade goods will be sold at the open space of Tsutaya bookshop in the Okazaki area; 11:00-17:00.

Feb. 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.

Feb. 25
Kamigamo Shrine: Handicrafts, arts, food, and more; 9:00-16:00.

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