Home > Kyoto Annual Events - Current Events

July 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 Event

July 1-End of September
Ukai Cormorant Fishing in Arashiyama and Uji

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Ukai is a traditional fishing method first recorded in old Japanese documents during the 8th century. It is recognized as one of the valuable Japanese cultural forms and has been actively preserved in Kyoto and Gifu prefectures. Ukai in Kyoto is one of the must-see summer tourist attractions in Arashiyama and Uji. Cormorants (large diving birds) are used to catch sweet river fish, or ayu on the Oi and Uji rivers. Tourists can watch the events from either the banks of the river or get a seat on a boat which will enable them to watch the performance up close.

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The good times for fishing are moonless nights when the fish are easily attracted to the fire torch lighting on the boat. There are now two women ukai (cormorant trainer) in Uji. *The daily event might be cancelled in the case of bad weather.

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Arashiyama (Until Sept. 23): 1,800 yen, 900 yen (4-12 years old); 19:00-21:00; Boat ride: 19:00 & 20:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Arashiyama Koen; Tel: 075-861-0302 (Arashiyama Tsusen)

Uji (Until Sept. 30): 2,000 yen, 1,000 yen (6-12 years old); 19:00-20:00 (Reception from 18:00; Boarding from 18:30); Boarding area: Nakanoshima Park; Access: Keihan Line, transfer at Chushojima Stn. to Uji Stn.; Tel: 0774-23-3334 (Uji City Tourist Association)

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 national holidays and tourist season).

Tickets: 620 yen (one way); Access: JR Sagano Line Saga Arashiyama Stn.; Sagano Kanko Tetsudo: Tel: 075-861-7444; https://www.sagano-kanko.co.jp/

Every Day
Hozugawa Kudari River Boat Ride

© 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 with rapids and 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, 2,700 yen (4-12 years old); 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

Early June - Early July
Hydrangea Festival at Fujinomori Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The entire shrine precinct will be filled with colorful hydrangea flowers; Special ceremonies of flower and tea offering to the deity and Shinto prayer will be held from 10:00 on the 15th; Traditional dance and music performances & kemari ancient ball game will be held from 13:00 on the 18th.

Entry: 300 yen; 9:00-17:00; Access: A 5-min. walk from JR Fujinomori Stn. or Keihan Sumizome Stn.; Tel: 075-641-1045; www.fujinomorijinjya.or.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).

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, #46 get off at Kamigamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp

July 7
Tanabata Festival at Shiramine Jingu Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kemari, a traditional ball-kicking game, will be played by people dressed in ancient court costumes after the ceremony from 15:00; From 16:00, girls dressed in colorful kimono will perform a group dance.

Admission free; The ceremony starts at 13:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Imadegwa; Tel: 075-441-3810; shiraminejingu.or.jp

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 service will be offered (3,000 yen; 10:00-12:00); From July 1 to Aug. 15, an elegant night time scene is created with lanterns in the shrine precinct until around 20:00.

Admission free: from 10:00; 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 8 & 9
Tanabata Festival at Kodai-ji Temple

A big, colorfully decorated bamboo tree is set in the temple precincts; After sunset, the temple will be beautifully lit up until 21:30.

Entry: 600 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Yasui; Tel: 075-561-9966; www.kodaiji.com

July 8 & 22
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.

Tickets: 2,000 yen; 18:00-19:00; Reservation required; 8th at Sakura Urushitei; Email: sakura@urushitei.jp ; 22nd at Sakura Honganji; Email: culture@kyotoryokan-sakura.com

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

During this festival, people offer thanks 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 temple precincts during the festivities.

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

July 16
Onda Festival at Matsuno-o Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This is a long-inherited ritual to pray for a rich harvest; Three women holding paddy rice are carried on men's shoulders in a circle three times around the precinct; Summer vegetables will be offered to the deity as well.

Admission free; Ritual starts 10:00; Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Matsuno-o Taisha-mae; Tel: 075-871-5016; www.matsunoo.or.jp

July 22 & 23
Yoimiya and Motomiya Festival at Fushimi Inari Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

During the Yoi-miya Festival (22nd) and Motomiya Festival (23rd), Inari Shrine worshippers from all over Japan visit the shrine's headquarters to pray; At night (22nd), a number of lanterns in the precinct will be lit up.

Admission free; 22nd from 18:00, 23rd from 9:00; Access: JR Nara line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Fushimi Inari Stn.; Tel: 075-641-7331; inari.jp

July 22-30
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); 5:30-21:00 (from 9:00 on 22nd); Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamojinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp

Sat., Sun., & Nat'l Holidays between July 22-Aug. 27
Night Time Special Lit-up Garden at The Garden Museum Hiei
Located at the summit of Mt. Hiei, the garden 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 (enter by 20:00); until 17:00 on weekdays; Access: Keihan Bus from Kyoto Stn. or Keihan Sanjo, get off at Hiei Sancho bus stop; Tel: 075-707-7733; http://www.garden-museum-hiei.co.jp/

July 24 & 25
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); 24th: 12:00-20:00, 25th: 6:00-18:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Omuro Ninnaji; Tel: 075-462-5300; rengezi.com

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 portions of 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 (cancelled in case of rain); Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Shinnyodo-mae; Tel: 075-771-0915; shin-nyo-do.jp

July 28
Hi-watari Fire-walking Festival at Tanukidani Fudo-in Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

After the ceremony (from around 19:00), yamabushi or mountain monks will walk on fire with bare feet; The ritual is to pray for good health, and visitors can try the fire walking as well.

Admission free; Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Ichijo Sagarimatsu-cho; Tel: 075-722-0025; www.tanukidani.com

July 29
Gagaku Music Concert at Kyomachiya Ryokan Sakura Urushitei

After the Obanzai meal party (18:00-19:00), a special concert featuring gagaku (Japanese ancient court music) will be held from 19:00.

Tickets: 2,500 yen (1,500 yen for 6-12 years children); Reservation required at Tel: 075-343-0003 or E-mail: sakura@urushitei.jp

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 begins at 21:00.

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Admission free; Kyoto Bus #72, 74, get off at Kiyotaki; Tel: 075-861-0658; atagojinjya.jp

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets


July 2
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.

July 2 & 22
Kyoto City Hall: A big public flea market; 10:00-16:00; In case of rain, it will be held on June 12 & July 3.

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

July 15
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
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 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.

July 23
Kamigamo Shrine: Handicrafts, arts, food, and more; 9:00-16:00.

July 25
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine: Also known as Tenjin-san, a super shrine market sprawling in and around this major shrine complex; 6:00-16:30.

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