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 Events

July 1-mid Sept.
Ukai Cormorant Fishing in Arashiyama and Uji

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Ukai is a traditional fishing method which appeared 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-not-miss summer tourist attractions in Arashiyama and Uji. Cormorants (large diving birds) are used to catch sweet river fish, or ayu carried out on the Oi and Uji rivers.

© Uji City Tourist Association

Tourists can watch the events from either the banks of the river or get a seat on a boat which will let them watch the performance up close. 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 (trainer of cormorant) in Uji. *This might be cancelled in the case of bad weather.

Arashiyama: Adults: 1,800 yen, Children (4-12 years old): 900 yen; 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: Adults: 2,000 yen, Children (6-12 years old): 1,000 yen; 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 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 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

Every Day
Tour around the Sake Brewery Town
Fushimi Jukkoku-bune Boat Ride

Jukkoku-bune is a boat that carried sake, rice and passengers on the Yodo River in the Edo period (1600-1868). The revived boat carries 15 passengers and the tour takes about 55-mins. round trip and runs in the Uji River where willow trees and sake breweries are making a great scenery. These special boats depart from the back of Gekkeikan Okura Memorial Museum to the Fushimi Port Park.

Tickets: 1,200 yen, 600 yen (6-12 years old), 300 yen (5 years and younger); 10:00-16:20; No service on Monday between June and September (available if Monday is a national holiday); Access: Kintetsu Line, Momoyama goryo-mae Stn., or Keihan Line, Chushojima Stn.; Tel: 075-623-1030; kyoto-fushimi-kanko.jp/ship/

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).

No entry fee; Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, #46 get off at Kamigamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp

July 2 & 3
Tanabata Festival at Kodai-ji Temple

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

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

July 7
Tanabata Festival at Shiramine Jingu Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

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

No entry fee; 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
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 (from 14:00).

Entry: 400 yen (to enter Kiyomizu Temple); Access: Kyoto City Bus #100, 206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-541-2097; www.jishujinja.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 (3,000 yen; 10:00-15:00) will be offered; Until Aug. 15th, an elegant night time scene is created with lanterns in the shrine precinct until 20:00 (Sat. Sun. & national holidays: until 21:00).

No entry fee: 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 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.

No entry fee; 10:00-20:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kamishichiken; Tel: 075-461-5973; www.daihoonji.com

Sat., Sun., & Nat'l Holidays between July 16- Aug. 28
Night Time Special Lit-up Garden at The 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 (enter by 20:00); 10:00-17:30 on weekdays (enter by 17:00); Access: Keihan Bus from Kyoto Stn. or Keihan Sanjo or Demachiyanagi, get off at Hiei Sancho bus stop; From Eizan Railway Yase Hieizan-guchi Stn., change to Eizan Cable and Ropeway, get off at Hiei Sancho Stn.; Tel: 075-707-7733; www.garden-museum-hiei.co.jp/

July 17
Onda Festival at Matsuno-o Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This is an long inherited ritual to pray for the rich harvest; Three women who hold paddy rice in hands will be carried on men's shoulder and circle around the precinct three times. Summer vegetables will be offered to the deity as well.

No entry fee; Ritual starts at around 10:00; Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Matsuno-o Taisha-mae or Hankyu Arashima Line, Matsuno-o Taisha; Tel: 075-871-5016; www.matsunoo.or.jp

July 23 & 24
Yoi-miya and Motomiya Festival at Fushimi Inari Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

During the Yoi-miya Festival (23rd) and Motomiya Festival (24th), Inari Shrine worshippers from all over Japan visit the shrine's headquarters to pray; At night (23rd), a number of lanterns in the precinct will be lit up.

No entry fee; 23rd: from 18:00, 24th: from 9:00; Access: JR Nara line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Fushimi Inari Stn.; Tel: 075-641-7331; inari.jp

July 23-31
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 (23rd: 9:00-22:00, 26th-28th: 5:30-21:00); Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.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.

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.

No entry fee; Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Ichijo Sagarimatsu-cho; Tel: 075-722-0025; www.tanukidani.com

July 29 & 30
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); 29th: 12:00-20:00, 30th: 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 begins at 21:00.

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

No entry fee; Kyoto Bus #72, 74, get off at Kiyotaki; Tel: 075-861-0658; kyoto-atago.jp

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets

July 3
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 8, 18, 28
Toyokuni Shrine: A very small market of local products; 10:00-15:00.

July 10
Bishamon-do in Kennin-ji Temple: Known as Tora-ichi, this market specializes in handicrafts & arts; 10:00-16:00.

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 25
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; 7:00-17:00.

July 24
Kamigamo Shrine: Handicrafts, arts, food, and more; 9:00-16:00.

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.

July 30
Kyoto City Hall: A big public flea market; 10:00-16:00; In case of rain, it will be held on Aug. 6.

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