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Event Highlights

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

Until Dec. 29
Sagano Sightseeing Tram 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).

Entry: 620 yen (one way); Access: JR Saga Arashiyama Stn.; Sagano Kanko Tetsudo: Tel: 075-861-7444; 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 16km 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).

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/

July 1
Mitoshiroe Ritual at Kamigamo Shrine

During the ritual (from 10:00), farmers pray for the removal of harmful insects in their rice paddies; After the ritual, from 18:00, noh and kyogen performances by Kanze and Okura Schools are held at Chono-ya Hall (4,000 yen).

Access: Kyoto City Bus #9 get off at Kamigamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp/

July 1-Sept. 15
Ukai Cormorant Fishing in Arashiyama

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Ukai is a traditional fishing method in which cormorants (large diving birds) are used to catch sweet river fish or ayu; Carried out on the Oi River, this event is one of the most popular summer tourist attractions in Arashiyama; Tourists can watch the event either from banks of the river or get a seat on a boat which let them watch the performance up close.

Adults: 1,700 yen, Children (4-12 years old): 850 yen; 19:00-21:00; Boat ride: 19:00 & 20:00; No service on Aug. 16; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Arashiyama Koen; Arashiyama Tsusen: Tel: 075-861-0302.

July 5 & 6
Tanabata Festival at Kodai-ji Temple

A big, colorfully decorated bamboo tree is set in the precinct; After sunset, the temple is lit up.

Entry: 600 yen (until 17:00), 500 yen (from 17:00); 9:00-21:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Yasui; Tel: 075-561-9966; www.kodaiji.com/

Until July 5
Bell Flower Viewing Party at Tentoku-in Temple in Tofuku-ji Temple

Tentoku-in Temple is famous for its exquisite bell flowers; The contrast between the purple and white bell flowers and the temple's simple dry landscape garden creates a beautiful scene; The temple will also be open at night until 20:30.

Special Zen lunch (reservations required: 11:00-14:00; 3,000 yen); 800 yen (with matcha green tea & sweet); Access: Kyoto City Bus #208, get off at Tofukuji; Tel: 075-561-5239; www.tentokuin.jp

July 7
Tanabata Festival at Shiramine Jingu Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

After the ceremony from 14:30, a kemari traditional ball-kicking game by people dressed in ancient court costumes will be played; From 16:30, girls dressed in colorful kimono will perform a dance in a group.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Imadegwa; Tel: 075-441-3810; www10.ocn.ne.jp/~siramine/

July 7
Tanabata Festival at Jishu Shrine

This shrine is home to the Deity of Love; On this day, many people come here to write their names on paper dolls which they hang on a special bamboo tree as a way of praying for good relationships and romantic encounters.

Entry: 300 yen (to enter Kiyomizu Temple); Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-541-2097.

July 7
Kifune Water Festival at Kifune Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

During this ritual prayers are offered to the Deity of Rain; Traditional tea ceremony and green tea service will be offered; Until mid Aug., an elegant night time scene is created with lanterns in the shrine precinct (until 20:00).

Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, get off at Demachiyanagi-eki-mae and take Eizan Railway to Kibune-guchi Stn.; Tel: 075-741-2016; kifunejinja.jp/

July 9-12
Pottery Memorial Ceremony and Market at Senbon Shaka-do Temple

During this festival people offer thanks at this temple for the pottery they are using in their daily lives (ceremony is from 14:00 on the 10th); A lively pottery market is held in the precinct of the temple during this festival.

10:00-20:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kamishichiken; Tel: 075-461-5973; www.daihoonji.com/

Until July 15
Hydrangea Festival at Sanzen-in Temple

This hydrangea festival is held in celebration of the 3,000 hydrangea bushes that bloom in this temple's famous garden in June and July.

Entry: 700 yen; 9:00-17:30; Access: Kyoto Bus #17, 18, get off at Ohara; Tel: 075-744-2531; www.sanzenin.or.jp/

July 19 & 20
Yoi-miya and Motomiya Festival at Fushimi Inari Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

During the Yoi-miya Festival (19th) and Motomiya Festival (20th), Inari Shrine worshippers from all over Japan visit the shrine's headquarters to pray; At night (19th), a number of lanterns in the precinct will be lit up.

Access: JR Nara line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Fushimi Inari Stn.; Tel: 075-641-7331; inari.jp/

Sat., Sun., & Nat'l Holidays between July 19- Aug. 31
Night Time Special Lit-up Garden at Garden Museum Hiei

Blooming with 100,000 blossoms every year, the Garden Museum is based on the theme of French impressionism; Located at the summit of Mt. Hiei, it offers an incredible view of both Lake Biwa and the city of Kyoto; During summer months, the garden will be beautifully lit-up.

Entry: 1,030 yen; 10:00-20:45; Access: Go to Eizan Railway Yase Hieizan-guchi Stn. and change to Eizan Cable Ropeway to Hiei Sancho Stn.; Tel: 075-707-7733; www.garden-museum-hiei.co.jp/

July 25
Shishigatani Pumpkin Service at Anraku-ji Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Pumpkin service and special public opening of the temple's treasures; On this day, visitors are given some cooked pumpkin as a way to keep illness away.

Entry: 500 yen; 9:00-15:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Kinrinshako-mae; Tel: 075-771-5360; anrakuji-kyoto.com/

July 25
Temple Treasure Airing at Shinnyo-do Temple

A special ceremony is held and roughly 200 of the temple's treasures are aired out and displayed to the public; Biwa (loquat) tea is served free of charge throughout the day.

Entry: 500 yen; 9:00-15:00 (canceled in the event of rain); Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Shinnyodo-mae; Tel: 075-771-0915; shin-nyo-do.jp/

July 26-29
Mitarashi Festival at Shimogamo Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

In the popular Mitarashi Festival, people put their feet in the cool waters of the stream running through the shrine and pray for a healthy life.

Entry: 300 yen (charge for the candle) ; 5:30-22:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/

July 28 & 29
Cucumber Purification at Gochizan Rengeji Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

In this ceremony people write their names and ages on a cucumber; It is believed that an illness can be overcome by first rubbing the cucumber on the body and then burying it in the ground.

Entry: 1,000 yen (including a prayer & cucumber); 28th: 12:00-20:00, 29th: 6:00-18:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Omuro Ninnaji; Tel: 075-462-5300; rengezi.com/

July 31
Sennichi Mairi Thousand-time Shrine Visit at Atago Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

On the night of the 31st, many people walk up Mt. Atago to visit Atago Shrine (home to the Deity of Fire Protection); It is believed that a shrine visit on this night is equivalent to 1,000 visits; A special ceremony at the shrine beginsat 21:00.

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Access: Kyoto Bus get off at Kiyotaki; Tel: 075-861-0658; kyoto-atago.jp/

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets

July 6, Sun.
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.

Kyoto City Hall
A big public flea market; 10:00-16:00; In case of rain, it will be postponed to July 20 (Sun.).

July 8, Tues.
Toyokuni Shrine

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

July 13, Sun.
Bishamon-do in Kennin-ji Temple

Known as Tora-ichi, this market specializes in handicrafts & arts; 10:00-16:00.

July 15, Tues.
Chion-ji Temple

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

July 21, Mon., nat'l holiday
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; 5:00-16:00.

July 25, Fri.
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

Also known as Tenjin-san, this super shrine market sprawls in and around this major shrine complex; 6:00-16:30.

June 27, Sun.
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.