Home > Kyoto Annual Events - Current Events



April Event Highlights

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



Pick Up Events1

Spring Special Nighttime Opening
Enjoy the beautiful lit-up scenes featuring a spring of marvelous scents

During the spring time, important temples and shrines in the area will open at night. This is a great opportunity to see stunning gardens and building illuminations.


Until April 12
Cherry Blossom Nighttime Lit-up Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle was built in 1603 and it is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994. The castle features about 200 of many kinds of cherry trees and the large garden will be lit up at night to create an elegant scene; 18:00-21:00; Entry: 400 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, 50, 101 or Subway Tozai Line, Nijojo-mae Stn.; Tel: 075-841-0096; www.city.kyoto.jp/bunshi/nijojo/


Until April 12
To-ji Temple

Also the one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites in Kyoto. Having a fivestory pagoda as the backdrop, the double flower weeping cherry tree will be gorgeous in appearance; 18:30-21:30; Entry: 500 yen; Access: Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Toji Stn.; Tel: 075-691-3325; www.toji.or.jp/


Until April 12
Maruyama Park


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The most popular cherry blossom viewing site in Kyoto. A grand weeping cherry tree will be lit-up from the end of March; Sunset - 1:00; No entry fee; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-1350


Until April 12
Kiyomizu Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This amazing temple is probably Kyoto's most popular and wellknown sightseeing spot. From the temple's large wooden balcony and some of its other excellent hillside locations visitors can gain excellent night views of the city. Also about 1,000 cherry blossom trees can be seen, this beautiful scenery has been loved by people since Muromachi period; 18:00-21:30 (doors closed at 21:00); Entry: 400 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-551-1234; www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/


Until mid. April
Hirano Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The shrine precinct will be filled with a number of cherry trees; No entry fee; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kinugadako-mae; Tel: 075-461-4450; www.hiranojinja.com


April 25 - May 6
Shoren-in Temple

This is one of Kyoto's five temples with an especially strong connection to the imperial family. The famous stroll round garden with a pond, and another Garden named Kirishima made by Enshu Kobori will be looming out of the darkness; 18:00-21:30; Entry: 800 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Jingumichi; Tel: 075-561-2345; www.shorenin.com/



Pick Up Events2

Where Ikebana Started
Enjoy this mystical scene in the middle of the city
Night Time beautifully Lit-up
Special Exhibition at Rokkaku-do Temple
April 10 (Fri.) - 12 (Sun.)

18:00-21:00; Free; On the north east corner of Karasuma Rokkaku; www.ikenobo.jp



Situated right in the middle of Kyoto City is Rokkaku-do Temple, the birthplace of ikebana (flower arrangement). During special exhibition times, the precinct will be lit-up gracefully with garden lanterns, and Rokkaku-do Temple will become luminescent against the dark of night.





Until May 6
Okazaki Cherry Blossom Viewing Boat Ride


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This traditional water tour, on one of two small boats, will take visitors along a canal route that is famous for cherry blossom viewing; These special tour boats depart from the Nanzen-ji Temple boat park (in front of Biwako Sosui Memorial Museum); 29 boat tours each day, between 9:30 and 16:30 (boat departs every 15-30 min.); Until 20:30 from Mar. 27-April 12 for night-time boat ride.

Tickets: 1,000 yen; Access: Subway Tozai Line, Keage Stn.; Tel: 075-321-7696; kyoto-tabi.or.jp/jikkokufune.html


Every Day
Sagano Romantic Train Ride


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The Sagano Sightseeing Tram 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; http://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/


Until April 7
The 63th Kitano Odori at Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theatre

The Kitano Odori is an annual dance performance by maiko and geiko of the Kamishichiken district.

Tickets: 4,800 yen with matcha green tea, 4,300 yen without tea; From 13:30 & 16:00; map E, d-1; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kamishichiken; Tel:075-461-0148; www.maiko3.com/


April 1-30
The 143rd Miyako Odori at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Elegant and fascinating dance show by maiko and geiko in Gion Kobu, the largest Kagai district of Kyoto.

Tickets: 4,800 yen with matcha green tea service, 4,200 yen without tea, 2,500 yen (non-reserved seats); From 12:30, 14:00, 15:30, 16:50; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-541-3391; www.miyako-odori.jp/


April 3
Seiryu-e at Kiyomizu Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The grand parade for this colorful event starts from 14:00; A large blue dragon, the symbol of this temple (and the guardian of the east side of Kyoto), is paraded through the temple area accompanied by many people in traditional clothing.

Entry: 300 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-551-1234; www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/


April 3-7
Special Spring Opening of the Kyoto Imperial Palace


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

People can enter the Imperial Palace freely during this period; No reservation is required during this special opening period (admission free).

Admission free; 9:00-15:30; Access: Subway Karasuma Line, Imadegawa Stn. or Marutamachi Stn.; Imperial Household Agency: Tel: 075-211-1211; www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-event/kyotogosho.html


April 4
Go-o Taisai Festival at Go-o Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The festival is based on an old legend related to the deity of the shrine; April 4th is the day on which the person enshrined as the deity passed away; The ceremony starts at 11:00.

No entry fee; Access: Subway Karasuma Line, Marutamachi Stn.; Tel: 075-441-5458; www.gooujinja.or.jp/


April 4-19
The 66th Kyo Odori at Miyagawacho Kaburenjo Theatre

The 65th Kyo Odori at Miyagawacho Kaburenjo Theatre

The Kyo Odori is an annual dance performance by maiko and geiko of the Miyagawacho district.

Tickets: 2,800 yen (2nd seat with matcha green tea); 2,200 yen (2nd seat without tea); 4,800 yen with matcha green tea, 4,200 yen without tea; From 12:30, 14:30 & 16:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #207, get off at Shijo Keihan-mae; Tel: 075-561-1151; www.miyagawacho.jp/


April 4-May 31
Machiya Visit at Tondaya

Tondaya is an exquisite cultural facility where people can learn about and enjoy Kyoto traditional lifestyle forms; May 5th is boy's day, the traditional day to celebrate boy's healthy growth; At Tondaya, traditional samurai dolls for the festival will be displayed in their large historical machiya house.

8,640 yen (lecture and machiya visit + special meal + tea ceremony), 2,160 yen (lecture and machiya visit; about 45 min.) and other plans are available; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Ichijo Modoribashi • seimeijinja-mae; Tel: 075-432-6701; www.tondaya.co.jp/


April 5, 11 & 12
Saga Dai Nenbutsu Kyogen at Seiryo-ji Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The Buddhist monk Enkaku started this nenbutsu kyogen in the hope of seeing his deceased mother again; These silent plays are unique and are one of the three most important theatre performances in Kyoto.

No entry fee; Nenbutsu kyogen theatre performances start at 13:30, 14:30, 15:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Saga Shakado-mae; Tel: 075-861-0343.


April 10-12
Hoyoke Taisai Festival at Jonan-gu Shrine

Jonan-gu Shrine is well known as the home of the deity for avoiding unlucky directions; People thank the deity so that they can avoid evil; The Hoyoke Taisai Festival is on from 9:00 until 16:00; Some traditional folk entertainment will be performed at 10:30 and 13:30; Free white sweet sake will be offered to all who come.

Entry for the garden: 600 yen; Access: Subway Karasuma Line Takeda Stn., and take Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3, get off at Jonangu Higashiguchi; Tel: 075-623-0846; www.jonangu.com/


April 10-12
Flower Arrangement Festival at Daikaku-ji Temple

The event was started in ancient times to commemorate the spirit of Emperor Saga; The flower arrangement festival is held between 10:00 and 16:00; Many original ikebana flower arrangements will be on display; Tea ceremony will be offered (with additional fee), and various food and fun stalls will be set up.

Entry: 500 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Daikakuji-mae; Tel: 075-871-0071; www.daikakuji.or.jp/


April 12
Taiko Hanami Gyoretsu Procession at Daigo-ji Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This gorgeous procession recreates the atmosphere of the famous large cherry viewing party Hideyoshi Toyotomi held on this site in the late 16th century; The procession starts at 13:00.

No entry fee; Access: Subway Tozai Line, Daigo Stn.; Tel: 075-571-0002; www.daigoji.or.jp/


April 12
Kamo Kyokusui no En at Kamigamo Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

In this shrine's classic Japanese style garden, people dressed in gorgeous Heian-period costumes and play an elegant poetry reading game along the stream (from 13:00); Traditional music will be performed and an outdoor tea ceremony will also be held.

Entry: 1,000 yen (with matcha green tea); Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Kamigamo Misonobashi; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp/


April 12
Yasurai Festival at Imamiya Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The festival is one out of the three most mysterious festivals in Kyoto. This originally began as a ritual to pray for vanquishing of disease and for good health. With big flowerdecorated umbrellas, people including children dance and chant together.

No entry fee; Access: Kyoto City Bus #46, get off at Imamiya Jinja-mae; Tel: 075-491-0082; www.imamiyajinja.org/


April 14
Spring Annual Festival at Shiramine Shrine

From around 11:30, kemari the traditional ballkicking game by people dressed in ancient court costumes will be played.

No entry fee; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Imadegawa; Tel: 075-441-3810; shiraminejingu.or.jp/


April 29-May 5
Mibu Kyogen at Mibu Temple

The Buddhist Saint Enkaku used Buddhist sutras in special theatre plays to spread Buddhism to the people; Mibu kyogen has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Culture form by the national government; The plays are performed between 13:00 and 17:30; Five of 30 kyogen plays are performed each day.

Entry: 800 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #26, 28, get off at Mibudera-michi; Tel: 075-841-3381; www.mibudera.com/


April 29
Kyokusui no Utage at Jonan-gu Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 14:00, people dressed in gorgeous Heian period kimono, sit along a stream and play an ancient poetry writing game; The first person floats a sake cup on the stream; The next person along the stream creates a poem before the cup reaches him/her; Traditional dance will also be performed on this day.

No entry fee; Access: Subway Karasuma Line Takeda Stn., and take Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3, get off at Jonangu Higashiguchi; Tel: 075-623-0846; www.jonangu.com/








Temple & Shrine Flea Markets





April 5
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.

April 8
Toyokuni Shrine

A very small market of local products; 10:00-15:00.

April 15
Chion-ji Temple

Kyoto’s biggest handicraft market; An absolutely amazing range of handmade things and incredible prices too!; 8:00-16:00.

April 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.

April 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.

April 26
Kamigamo Shrine

Handicrafts, arts, food, and more; 9:00-16:00.

April 26
Kyoto City Hall

A big public flea market; 10:00-17:00; In case of rain, it will be postponed to Mar. 14 from Mar. 8.

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