Home > Kyoto Annual Events - Current Events

June 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 Events

Get rid of misfortune and pray for your health
Nagoshi no Harae Summer Purification

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Every year, at the end of June, many shrines hold an ancient Japanese purification rite called Nagoshi no Harae. In this ceremony, people atone for their sins in the first half of the year and then pray for their health for the remainder of the year by walking through a tall chinowa wreath (a large sacred ring, made of loosely twisted miscanthus reeds called chigaya). At some shrines, people receive a white piece of paper shaped like a person as a form of purification that they can take with them. Some people pull out pieces of the chinowa and weave them into a small wreath which they take home and put above their door.

Recommended Shrines for Nagoshi no Harae

June 25-30
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

A giant chinowa wreath (5 meters tall; the largest chinowa wreath in Kyoto) is set up at the shrine gate. The ceremony is held from 16:00 on the 30th.

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

June 25-30
Kifune Shrine

The ceremony starts from 15:00 on the 30th.

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/

June 30
Kamigamo Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

A chinowa kuguri wreath will be set up and people can go through it praying for good health and fortune. The ceremony starts from 10:00. From 20:00, people throw paper dolls into the sacred pond to get rid of their misfortunes.

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

June 30
Heian Jingu Shrine

The ceremony starts from 16:00. A chinowa kuguri wreath will be set up and people can go through it praying for good health and fortune.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan, Heian Jingu-mae; Tel: 075-761-0221; http://www.heianjingu.or.jp/

June 30
Nonomiya Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The ceremony starts from 15:00. A chinowa kuguri wreath will be set up on the shrine’s black wooden torii gate (very rare type).

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

Pick Up Events2

Outdoor Riverside Dining
A delightful Kyoto early summer experience

Kyoto summers are said to be the hottest and most humid in all of Japan. This has a lot to do with the fact that the city is surrounded on three sides by mountains, which makes it hard for the humidity to escape. In some locations in the city where rivers flow, eateries, bars and cafes are set up on large wooden platforms. These wooden platforms are called yuka or kawadoko depending on the area. If you're in Kyoto this month, don't miss this often exotic and always relaxing experience.

Noryo Yuka by Kamo River

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The most famous riverside outdoor dining is Noryo Yuka along the Kamo River. Yuka extend east (facing the Kamo River) from many downtown restaurants and make for an unforgettable location for a relaxing, enjoying a fine dinner or even just for dessert or drinks. These open-air dining areas are unique to Kyoto and, though they have a reputation for being very expensive, but diners will be pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the prices can be. The serendipitous effect of the beautiful views over the river and the eastern skyline make the excellent food and drink in the lively open setting, taste even better. Today, there are about 100 yuka set up along the downtown area of the river. Each of Kyoto's active yuka restaurants serves a slightly different form of cuisine. Most specialize in traditional Kyoto cuisine, some serve ethic food, and others Western fare.

Kawadoko in Kibune

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kibune is a mountain village nestled in a steep valley north of Kyoto that has long been used as a summer retreat for the residents of Kyoto. In summer, the area is known for its unique kawadoko restaurants where traditional Japanese tatami rooms have been built above the Kibune River. Wooden platforms are built just slightly above the riverbed so that diners can enjoy the pleasant sounds of the stream flowing below them while savoring an exquisite kaiseki course meal. The waters that flow from the source of the Kibune River are very pure and cold. In this natural setting at Kibune, the atmosphere is very special and Kyoto cuisine is a true delight. A joyful train ride into the misty mountain area and pleasant walk in the forest to this restaurant area is yet another attraction. Access to the Kibune area: Take Eizan Railway from Demachiyanagi Stn. and get off at Kibune-guchi Stn.. It takes about 30 min. on foot to the kawadoko restaurant area (nice summer walk!) or take a local bus.

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).

Entry: 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).

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/

June 1
Kifune Festival at Kifune Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kifune Shrine, headquarters to about 500 Kifune Shrines located throughout Japan, is the home to the all-important God of Water; From 11:00, a mikoshi portable shrine procession, accompanied by people playing traditional music, will proceed through the neighborhood; A kagura dance performance by young shrine maidens will also be performed at the shrine.

No entry fee; 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

June 1 & 2
Takigi Noh Night-time Performance at Heian Shrine

Noh ''Hajitomi'' at Heian Shrine; Photo courtesy of the Kyoto Noh Association

Kyoto's Takigi Noh performances are one of the city's most popular events; On both days, three major Nohgaku schools (Kanze, Kongo, Okura) will perform these slow-moving, mysterious plays on a special fire-lit, outdoor stage set up in Heian Shrine.

Tickets: 4,000 yen; From 17:30 (the doors open from 16:30); The event will be postponed in the case of rain; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan, Heian Jingu-mae; Tel: 075-771-6114 (Kyoto Takigi Noh Office).

Early June - Early July
Hydrangea Festival at Fujinomori Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The whole precinct of the shrine will be filled with colorful hydrangea flowers; Special ceremony will be held from 10:00 on the 15th (traditional dance and music performances & kemari ancient ball game).

Entry: 300 yen; 9:00-16:00; Access: A 5-min. walk from JR Fujinomori Stn. or Keihan Sumizome Stn.; Tel: 075-641-1045; www.fujinomorijinjya.or.jp/

June 5
Free Public Opening of the Shin-en Garden at Heian Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The large Japanese stroll garden that surrounds the north side of the precinct of Heian Shrine is divided into four parts; The irises in the west and central parts are very beautiful and bloom in June.

Entry to the garden is free on this day (usually 600 yen); 8:30-16:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan, Heian Jingu-mae; Tel: 075-761-0221; www.heianjingu.or.jp/

June 7
Gion Hojo-e

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This ceremony is to offer thanks to living nature as young fish are released into the river with gratitude. Maiko will also participate in the event and 2,000 young fish will be released from the Tatsumi bridge to the Shirakawa River. The ceremony is very crowded, but a rare opportunity to take photos of Maiko.

No entry fee; 11:00-13:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-701- 5181 (Sekizanzen-in Temple)

June 10
Taue Rice Planting Festival at Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This ritual is held to ensure a good rice harvest; Women dressed in traditional Heian period costumes perform an elegant dance from 13:00; From around 14:00, about 30 women dressed in traditional farm worker clothing plant rice seedlings in the shrine's sacred rice field.

No entry fee; Access: JR Nara line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Railway, Fushimi Inari Stn.; Tel: 075-641-7331; inari.jp/

June 15
Yasaka Shrine Reisai Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This annual ceremony and dance performance, based on a dance style that was developed by the Heian imperial court, is highly recommended; From 10:00, a poetry reading contest will also be organized in the main hall.

No entry fee; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-6155; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

June 15
Aoba Festival at Chishaku-in Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This memorial ceremony is dedicated to the Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi and features sutra chanting (from 10:00); On this day, the garden, designed in the Momoyama period (17th century), and the temple wall paintings will be open to the public.

No entry fee; 9:00-16:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Nanajo; Tel: 075-541-5361; www.chisan.or.jp

June 15-June 30
Sal Tree Viewing Party at Torin-in Temple in Myoshin-ji Temple

Torin-in Temple, one of the sub-temples in the Myoshin-ji Temple complex, has many sal trees in its front garden; It is said that Buddha was born beneath a sal tree.

Sal flower ceremony and Japanese incense experience: 1,600 yen (with matcha green tea); 9:30-16:00; Access: JR Sagano line, Hanazono Stn.; Tel: 075-463-1334; www.myoshinji.or.jp/

Mid. June-Mid. July
Hydrangea Festival at Sanzen-in Temple

This hydrangea festival is held in celebration of the 1,000 hydrangea bushes that bloom in this temple's famous garden in June and July.

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

June 20
Takekiri-e Bamboo Cutting Ritual at Kurama Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 14:00, two 2-monk teams compete in the ceremonial ritual of cutting a long piece of bamboo (4 m long and 10 cm thick); The ritual is based on an ancient legend in which a monk of the temple got rid of a giant snake.

Entry: 300 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, get off at Demachiyanagi-eki-mae, and take Eizan Railway to Kurama Stn.; Tel: 075-741-2003.

June 19-21
Kyoto Antique Fair

About 330 antique dealers, including many foreign dealers, will participate in this exciting event, which is the largest antique market in western Japan; More than 1.5 million items will be on offer.

10:00-17:00 (until 16:00 on 21st); Access: Take Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3 from Subway Takeda Stn., get off at Pulse Plaza-mae; Tel: 075-522-2307 (Gomokudo).

June 25-July 10
Bellflower Viewing Party at Tentoku-in Temple in Tofuku-ji Temple

Tentoku-in Temple is famous for its exquisite bellflower; The contrast between the purple and white bellflowers and the temple's simple dry landscape garden creates a beautiful scene.

Entry: 500 yen; 10:00-16:30; Special Zen lunch (11:00-14:00; 3,000 yen; reservations required at Hatoya Zuiho-kaku; TEL: 075-361-1231); Access:Kyoto City Bus #208, get off at Tofukuji; Tel: 075-561-5239; www.tentokuin.jp

June 27 & 28
Kyoto Five Kagai Joint Performance at Kyoto Shijo Minamiza

Kyoto's five Kagai (maiko and geiko districts) are: Gion Kobu, Miyagawacho, Gion Higashi, Kamishichiken and Pontocho; This is an only chance to see all the maiko and geiko from all five Kagai perform together.

Tickets: Special seats: 15,000 yen, First seats: 10,000 yen, Second seats: 6,000 yen, From 11:00 and 14:30; Access: Keihan Railway, Gion Shijo Stn.; Tel: 075-561-3901.

June 25- 30
Machiya Visit at Tondaya ''Nagoshi no Harae and Minazuki''

Tondaya is an exquisite cultural facility where people can learn about and enjoy Kyoto's traditional lifestyle forms. Also the seasonal June's special sweet ''Minazuki'' will be included to the tour.

Entry: 8,640 yen (lecture and machiya visit + tea ceremony +Japanese sweet + light meal; reservations required); 11:00-13:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Ichijo Modoribashi Seimeijinja-mae; Tel: 075-432-6701; www.tondaya.co.jp/

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets

June 7
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.

June 8
Toyokuni Shrine

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

June 14
Bishamon-do in Kennin-ji Temple

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

June 14 & 28
Kyoto City Hall

A big public flea market; 10:00-17:00; In case of rain, it will be postponed to May 16.

June 15
Chion-ji Temple

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

June 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.

June 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.

June 28
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.