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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.

September Pick Up Events

The Autumn Harvest Moon

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

No place could better suited for full moon viewing other than the timelessness of Kyoto. Of all the year's 12 full moons, the September full moon, or harvest moon, is considered to be the most sublime.

It is said that the moon viewing custom was introduced to Japan from China during the Nara (710-794) and Heian periods (794-1185). Moon viewing takes place on August 15th in the lunar calendar, and it is called jugoya, which means the night of the 15th. Jugoya in the present calendar changes every year and usually falls in September or October. It's said that the moon on that night is the brightest and the most beautiful during the year.

Sprays of susuki (pampas grass), which resemble rice plants, and other autumn grasses are displayed on verandahs, along with neat clusters of tiny rice dumplings (tsukimi dango). On a more public level, celebrations are held in temples and shrines.

Jugoya Moon Viewing Events

Sept. 6
Kamigamo Shrine

After a special dance performance, special sweet dumplings and sake will be offered to the first 300 people from 17:30.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #4, #46, get off at Kamigamojinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp/

Sept. 6-8
Daikaku-ji Temple's Osawa Pond

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Since ancient times, people have enjoyed full moon viewing from boats on Osawa Pond. Tea ceremony is held on the boats and participants can enjoy an elegant evening in a spectacular setting. A koto harp concert will also performed twice a day.

1,000 yen for boat ride 800 yen for tea by the pond (additional entrance fee required to enter the temple: 500 yen); 17:00-21:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, #91, get off at Daikaku-ji-mae; Tel: 075-871-0071; www.daikakuji.or.jp/

Sept. 8
Shimogamo Shrine

During this moon viewing music festival, traditional dance and music, including koto harp music will be performed from 17:30. The performers and players will wear gorgeous Heian period costumes.

Tea ceremony: 1,000 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/

Sept. 8
Hirano Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Following a sacred ritual at 18:30, traditional song, dance and gagaku imperial music will be performed at around 19:00. Many night stalls selling souvenirs and food are set up in the shrine precinct.

Matcha green tea will also be offered (500 yen with sweet); Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, #205, get off at Kinugasako-mae; Tel: 075-461-4450.

Until Sep.30
Kyoto's Summer Crafts & Items Festival at Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts

The only museum in Japan that exhibits about 500 craft works of 74 different types of crafts that carry down Kyoto's history and techniques 

*Don't miss it!! Many other attractive events, such as shopping the traditional crafts, summer special exhibition, etc. held during the festival period. 

Open: 9:00 - 17:00
*Closed 8/18 - 19
*Admission free 

Special Presents!!!
Get a gift from the below list for those who visit the museum and answer a questionnaire during the festival period. 

A traditional gift 30 gifts per day 

500 yen shopping coupon
*Can be used at the museum shop or Kyoto specialty shop ''Miyabi''; 5 people per day 

Free experience
Yuzen dyeing experience (available only on Sat., Sun., nat'l holidays) ; 5 people per day 

Artisan's performance & Maiko's traditional dances
Takumi & Mai 

Maiko's traditional dances
Every Sunday
from 14:00-/ 14:30-/ 15:00- 

Artisan's performance
Sat., Sun., nat'l holidays

Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts ''Fureaikan'' B1 of Miyako Messe in Okazaki 9-1 seishoji-cho, okazaki, sakyo-ku 

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/

* For having a safety-check, the river ride won’t be available on Sep. 10th.

Until 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.

Sept. 7
Hassaku Festival at Matsuno-o Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Every year around this time, the local people hold a big ceremony to pray for a good autumn harvest and family safety; At 10:00, women carry a big mikoshi portable shrine; Sagano Rokusai Nenbutsu dance will be performed from 16:00.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Matsuno-otaisha; Tel: 075-871-5016; www.matsunoo.or.jp/

Sept. 9
Karasu Sumo Wrestling and Choyo Ceremony at Kamigamo Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 10:00, people offer chrysanthemum flowers at the main hall and pray; After the ritual, local children compete in the shrine's annual Karasu sumo wrestling event; A free cup of chrysanthemum sake will be offered to visitors.

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

Sept. 14 & 15
Seiryu-e Festival at Kiyomizu Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 14:00, a long blue dragon (representing a sacred guardian of Kyoto) marionette carried by many men will dance through the temple precinct.

Entry: 300 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-551-1234; www.kiyomizudera.or.jp

Sept. 15
Yoshitsune Festival at Kurama Temple

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 11:00, a memorial ceremony will be held to commemorate the spirit of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the legendary Heian period samurai who once lived at this temple; After the ceremony, Japanese martial arts will be performed in front of the main hall.

Entry: 200 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #4 get off at Demachiyanagi-eki-mae and take Eizan Railway to Kurama Stn.; Tel: 075-741-2003.

Sept. 19
Special Garden Opening at Heian Shrine

This shrine's large scale garden will be open free of charge on this day (normally 600 yen).

8:30-16:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, 100, get off at Okazaki Koen, Bijutsukan, Heian Jingumae; Tel: 075-761-0221; www.heianjingu.or.jp/

Sept. 20-23
Hagi Festival at Nashinoki Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

During this festival, people write poems on a piece of paper and tie them to the branches of the shrine's many flowering bush clovers; In the shrine hall, kyogen, dance and koto harp will be performed.

Ticket with tea: 800 yen or 1,500 yen (with a ceramic plate); Access: Kyoto City Bus #17, 205, get off at Furitsu Idai Byoin-mae; Tel: 075-211-0885; nashinoki.jp/

Sept. 22
Comb Festival at Yasui Konpira-gu Shrine

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This unique festival is dedicated to offering thanks to women's combs and hair ornaments; From 13:00, a ceremony is held and then a beautiful procession of women with their hair done in a wide range of styles spanning more than 1300 years and wearing clothing from those periods will walk through the surrounding area.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyama Yasui; Tel: 075-561-5127; www.yasui-konpiragu.or.jp

Sept. 22
Kamigyo Takigi Noh Performance at Shiramine Jingu Shrine

From 16:00, a range of traditional entertainment (dance, noh, koto harp, etc.) will be performed; In the event of rain, the event will be held at the Kongo Noh Theatre.

Ticket: 2,000 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Imadegawa; Tel: 075-441-5040.

Sept. 22 & 23
Seimei Festival at Seimei Shrine

On the 22nd, people holding lanterns form a procession to welcome the spirit of Abe no Seimei after which a Kagura dance and music performance will be held; On the 23rd, about 500 people march around the shrine precinct playing traditional music.

Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Ichijo Modoribashi Seimeijinja-mae; Tel: 075-441-6460; www.seimeijinja.jp/

Sept. 23
Gokonomiya Noh Performance at Gokonomiya Shrine

Between 17:00-20:00, noh, dance and kyogen will be performed on an outdoor stage.

Ticket: 3,500 yen; Access: Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Momoyama Goryomae Stn.; Tel: 075-611-0559; www.kyoto.zaq.ne.jp/gokounomiya/

Sept. 23
Takase-gawa Boat Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

A ceremony will be held at the start point of the Takase-gawa canal; Maiko from Ponto-cho will serve green tea.

10:30-16:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae.

Sept. 28
Sencha and Kencha Festival at Heian Shrine

From 9:00, the Iemoto masters of the 6 schools of Sencha tea ceremony will perform tea ceremony for the deities of the shrine (the public can't enter the ceremony area); After the ceremony, green tea will be served to the public.

2,000 yen (2 cups of green tea); 9:00-15:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, 100, get off at Okazaki Koen, Bijutsukan, Heian Jingu-mae; Tel: 075-761-0221; www.heianjingu.or.jp/

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets

Sept. 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.

Sept. 8
Toyokuni Shrine

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

Sept. 15
Chion-ji Temple

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

Sept. 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.

Sept. 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.

Sept. 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.