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

October's Top-picked Events

Meet the Elegant and Wondrous World of Geiko and Maiko
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 surely be infatuated with their beauty...

Oct. 1-6: Onshukai (Gion Kobu)
Reserved first seats: 8,500 yen, reserved second seats: 5,000 yen; From16:00; At Kyoto Shunju-za; http://k-pac.org/

Oct. 8-13: Kotobukikai (Kamishichiken)
Reserved seats: 8,000 yen; From 16:00 (an additional show from 13:00 on 8th); At Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theatre; www.maiko3.com

Oct. 11-14: Mizuekai (Miyagawacho)
First seats: 8,000 yen, second seats: 4,000 yen; From16:00 (and an additional show from 13:00 on 13th & 14th); At Miyagawacho Kaburenjo Theatre; www.miyagawacho.jp

Oct. 25-28: Suimeikai (Pontocho)
Reserved seats: 8,000 yen or 7,000 yen, non-reserved seat: 3,000 yen; From 16:00; At Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre; www.kamogawa-odori.com

Nov. 1-10: Gion Odori (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; 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 during tourist season).

620 yen (one way); JR Sagano Line Saga Arashiyama Stn.; www.sagano-kanko.co.jp

Every Day
Hozu River Boat Ride

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

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 9:00-15:30 (the last boat departs at 15:30); *Operated irregularly on Sat., Sun., national holidays.

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: www.hozugawakudari.jp

Oct. 1-5
Zuiki Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine; This festival is held to celebrate the autumn harvest; Two mikoshi portable shrines gorgeously decorated with zuiki (taro stems) will be displayed and paraded around the local area (the parade will be held on the 1st and 4th).

Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; kitanotenmangu.or.jp

Oct. 5-8
Autumn Konpira Festival

At Yasui Konpiragu Shrine; The enshrined deity will be transferred to the portable shrine from 20:00 on the 5th (no photo shooting permitted); On the 7th, a special prayer for world peace from 11:00; On the 8th, a final festival will be held to close this year's celebration from 9:00.

Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Yasui; www.yasui-konpiragu.or.jp

Oct. 5-Dec. 24
Kyoto Tower Virtual Reality Bungee Jump

At Kyoto Tower; Experience a new type of entertainment produced by Kyoto Tower; Why not bungee jump from the top of the Kyoto Tower (120.9 meter) with the virtual reality device!

700 yen (under 6 not admitted); 12:00-21:00 (last entry 20:40); 11F of Kyoto Tower (1F observation deck); www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/

Oct. 6-8
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; Six different plays will be performed each day between 13:00 and 17:30.

1,000 yen; Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Mibudera-michi; www.mibudera.com

Oct. 6-28
Kyoto Experiment (Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival)

Kyoto Experiment is Kyoto's first international performing arts festival presenting the innovative work of renowned Kyoto-based, Japanese and overseas theater and dance artists at various venues around Kyoto.

Gisèle Vienne / DACM "CROWD"; Photo by Estelle Hanania

Ticket prices range from free to 5,000 yen with a three-performance pass costing 7,800 yen; To see the full schedule of events, from visual arts to music to dance, and to purchase tickets visit: www.kyoto-ex.jp/2018/

Oct. 7
The 16th Kyoto Intercollegiate

A variety of events and contests will be held throughout the day organized by Kyoto's college & university students; About 1,000 dancers will gather and perform together for the main opening of the dance contest.

11:00-19:30; Surrounding area of Heian Jingu Shrine and Okazaki Park; Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Jingu-michi; http://www.kyoto-gakuseisaiten.com/

Irish Pub Man in the Moon Kyoto 10th Anniversary

Anniversary Special Promotion!; Oct. 6-8: 200 yen OFF; All Beers on Tap!; Oct. 9: All Drinks 500 yen; *Valid for drinks under 1,000 yen; *The promotion is held only at Man in the Moon Kyoto Station Branch

LIVE MUSIC: From 8:00 p.m.
Oct. 6: Slinky Tips, Oct. 7: Takehiro Kunugi & Genta Fukue Irish Live, Oct. 8: Iromaki Toridori, Oct. 13: Moon Band

Oct. 12-14
Performance Art and Market

At Hannyarin near Shokoku-ji Temple; An open-air performance in which the audience can participate that restages the art of Gei-akindo (merchant performance to sell goods) from the Edo period; Street performances along with a small market of antiques, toys, etc. will be held.

2,000 yen (adults); 1,000 yen (children); 11:00-16:00; Hannya-rin, in front of the north gate of Shokoku-ji Temple; Kyoto Subway Kuramaguchi Stn.; osada-jyuku.com

Oct. 12-21
Lantern Viewing Party

At Torin-in Temple in the Myoshin-ji Temple Complex; This temple's garden is famous for its Sal tree; About 400 candles are lit in the hand-made lanterns and illuminate the white sand and garden-moss beautifully.

500 yen (additional 500 yen is required for a bowl of matcha green tea); 18:00-20:30 (doors closed); About 8-min. walk from JR Sagano Line Hanazono Stn.

Oct. 13 & 27
Sake Tasting Night

At Kyomachiya Ryokan Sakura Urushitei/Honganji; The host, Mr. Davidson, will lead participants into the unknown Sake World and share ideas on how to enjoy tasting sake to its utmost.

2,000 yen; 18:00-19:00; Reservation required; 13th at Sakura Urushitei; Email: sakura@urushitei.jp ; 27th at Sakura Honganji; Email: culture@kyotoryokan-sakura.com

Oct. 14
Memorial Service for Dolls

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Hokyo-ji Temple; This temple is home to the dolls that belonged to successive imperial princesses; The general public also bring their old Japanese dolls (traditionally used as a form of protection for girls) and thank them; The reception is from 10:00 and the ceremony from 10:30; A dance performance by the tayu (highest ranked geisha) from the Shimabara district will also be featured.

10:30-12:00; Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Teranouchi; www.hokyoji.net

Oct. 19-21
Kiyomizu-yaki Danchi Pottery Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

In Yamashina; 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.

9:30-18:00; A special shuttle bus service between Kyoto Stn. and the event venue will run all three days (departing every 15 min.); www.kiyomizuyaki.or.jp

Oct. 21
Saigu Procession

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Nonomiya Shrine and Togetsu-kyo Bridge; In ancient times, the imperial family sent their princesses to Ise Jingu 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).

Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Nonomiya; www.nonomiya.com

Oct. 21
Twenty-five Bosatsu Procession

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Sokujoin Temple in Sennyu-ji Temple; From 13:00, children wearing gorgeous masks of Buddha and Buddhist costumes will walk through the precinct with about 200 other participants.

1,000 yen (main hall); Kyoto City Bus #208, get off at Sennyuji-michi; www.negaigamatoe.com

Oct. 21
Kasagake Ritual

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

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

Kyoto City Bus #4, get off at Kamigamojinja-mae; http://www.kamigamojinja.jp/

Oct. 21 & 28
Dance Performance by Maiko & Geiko

At Fureaikan Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts; Dance performance by an authentic maiko (apprentice geiko) or geiko depending on the day; 3 shows at 14:00, 14:30, 15:00 (each show lasts about 15 min.).

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

Oct. 22
Jidai Matsuri Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine; This festival is one of Kyoto's three biggest festivals which was started in 1895; A grand costume parade consisting of 2,000 people, about 2km in length, will move across the city; Read more.

Oct. 26-28
Kyoto Antique Fair

At Kyoto Trade Fair Center (Pulse Plaza); 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 28th); Take Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3 from Subway Takeda Stn., get off at Pulse Plaza-mae; pulseplaza.jp/

Oct. 26-Nov. 11
Ohara-me Festival

In Ohara; In the idyllic Ohara area (northeast of Kyoto), people can try on a traditional Ohara-me (women who sold firewood from Ohara to Kyoto in the old days; 1,000 yen) costume and enjoy strolling through the village.

10:00-14:00 except Sun. & National holidays; Kyoto Bus #17, 18, get off at Ohara; http://kyoto-ohara-kankouhosyoukai.net/

Oct. 27
Citizen's Tea Party

At Nijo Castle; In the beautiful Seiryu-en Garden, traditional tea ceremony will be hosted by two different schools; A great opportunity to enjoy green tea as well as view the Ninomaru Palace (National Treasure) and garden.

2,500 yen (entry to the castle and 2 tea ceremonies); 9:30-15:00; Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Nijojo-mae or Subway Tozai Line, Nijojo-mae Stn.; www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/bunshi/nijojo

Oct. 31-Nov. 4
Autumn Old Book Market

At Chion-ji Temple; Organized by the Kyoto Old Book Association, about 200,000 interesting old books of all kinds are displayed and sold at this temple market.

10:00-17:00; Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Hyakumanben; koshoken.seesaa.net/category/8767185-1.html

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets


Oct. 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.

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

Chion-ji Temple: Kyoto's biggest handicraft market; An absolutely amazing range of handmade items 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; 8:00-16:00.

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.

Oct. 22
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.

Oct. 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.