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April Event Highlights
See, Feel and Experience More of Kyoto
*Time, dates and information of events are subject to change.

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, events and information listed in Kyoto Visitor's Guide might be canceled or postponed without advance notice. Thank you very much for your understanding.

April's Top-picked Events

Illuminous Special Nighttime
Openings & Sakura Viewing Spots

Until April 5
Kiyomizu Temple

About 1500 sakura trees grow in the precinct and reach their peak in the beginning of April; 400 yen; 18:00-21:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206 or #100, get off at Gojo-zaka; www.kiyomizudera.or.jp

Until April 5
Shirakawa Canal in Gion

About 40 sakura trees, including Shidare (weeping sakura) variety, line along the Shirakawa Canal in the historical Gion area; 18:00-22:00; Access: Keihan Gion Shijo

Until mid-April
Maruyama Park

This is the most popular cherry blossom viewing site in Kyoto; A grand weeping cherry tree will be lit-up by torch light from the end of March; Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion

Until mid-April
Hirano Shrine

The shrine precinct will be filled with a number of cherry trees; Many food stalls will line in the precinct as well; Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205 ''Kinugasakomae''; www.hiranojinja.com

Until April 12
To-ji Temple

One of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage sites; With the five-story pagoda as a backdrop, the double flower weeping cherry tree will exhibit its gorgeous appearance; 1,000 yen; 18:30-21:30; Access: Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Toji Stn.; www.toji.or.jp

Until April 12
Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle (World Heritage); The castle features about 200 varieties of cherry trees and its large garden will be lit up at night to create a supremely elegant scene; 1,400 yen; 18:00-21:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, 50, 101 or Subway Tozai Line, Nijojo-mae Stn.; http://nijo-jocastle.city.kyoto.lg.jp/

Until April 12
Kyoto Botanical Garden

About 500 sakura trees grow in this spacious public garden; 200 yen; Sunset-21:00; Access: Subway Kitayama Stn.; www.pref.kyoto.jp/plant

Until May 6
Kodai-ji Temple

The temple's large pond garden, tea ceremony rooms and buildings are surrounded by a bamboo forest creating an especially elegant atmosphere when lit up at night; 600 yen; Until 21:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyamayasui; www.kodaiji.com

Until May 6
Entoku-in Temple

The temple has gorgeous sliding door paintings created by famous modern Japanese artists; 500 yen; Until 21:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Higashiyamayasui; www.kodaiji.com/entoku-in/

Every Day
Hozu River Boat Ride

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

On Hozu River; The boat 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 at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00. 13:00, 14:00, 15:30.

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

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

Until April 3
Japanese Doll Exhibition

At Hokyo-ji Temple; An array of Japanese dolls of different kinds and times, from small sized to life-sized dolls, including the ones once possessed by Imperial princesses, will also be on display.

600 yen; 10:00-16:00 (entry until 15:30; Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Teranouchi; www.hokyoji.net

Until April 12
Sakura Festival

At Nijo Castle; Approx. 300 sakura cherry trees of 50 varieties fill the castle site and welcome people almost for a whole month; The castle will be specially opened during the night time and its massive castle structures will be illuminated.

Daytime 8:45-16:00 (1,030 yen), Nighttime 18:00-21:00 (1,400 yen); Kyoto City Bus #9, 50, 101, get off at Nijojo-mae; nijo-jocastle.city.kyoto.lg.jp

Until May 6
Spring Boat Ride along Okazaki Canal

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

On Okazaki Canal; Small boat will take visitors along a canal under the cherry blossoms; Depart from the Nanzen-ji Temple boat park (in front of Biwako Canal Memorial Museum).

Between 9:30 and 16:30; From 8:00 and until 20:30 from Mar. 27 to April 8; No service on April 13 & 20; 1,200 yen; Subway Tozai Line, Keage Stn.; kyoto-tabi.or.jp/events/jkkfn/

Until May 6
Omuro Flower Festival

At Ninna-ji Temple; Ninna-ji Temple is famous for its unique Omuro Sakura, a kind of cherry tree whose height remains lower than general cherry variety; Azalea and other seasonal flowers will adorn the precinct.

500 yen; 8:30-17:30; Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Omuro Ninnaji; www.ninnaji.jp

Until May 10
Flower Ceiling Special Opening

At Hiraoka Hachiman-gu Shrine; Visitors will be able to view the 44 richly-colored floral paintings on the ceiling of the shrine, said to have been painted during the Edo Period (1600-1868).

800 yen; 10:00-16:00; JR Bus (from Kyoto Station), get off at Hiraoka Hachiman.

Until May 25
Spring Special Opening of Temple Treasure House

At To-ji Temple; Famous temple headquarters exhibits its Mikkyo (esoteric Buddhist) mandala art; Temple's treasury hall will be open to the public; From Mar. 14 to April 12, special night-time light-up will be held (18:30-21:30) at the time of cherry blossoms (1,000 yen).

500 yen (Treasury Hall); 9:00-17:00 (enter by 16:30); Kintetsu Kyoto Line ''To-ji''or Kyoto City Bus #16, 17, 42, 78, get off at Toji Nanmon-mae; www.toji.or.jp

April 1-7
Special Opening of the Temple Hall Interior

At Honen-in Temple; Honen-in Temple is nestled in a tranquil eastern area of Kyoto; Interior of the temple hall is opened to the public only limited period of time in spring and autumn; It is the best time to enjoy camellia flowers.

500 yen; 9:30-16:00; Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Kinrin Shako-mae; www.honen-in.jp

April 1-14
Cherry Blossom Tea Ceremony Party

At Heian Jingu Shrine; Weeping cherry trees in the Shin-en Garden is splendid when they reach the peak; Classical tea ceremony is held at the Choshin-tei room with the superb view of cherry blossoms.

8:30-17:30 (garden: 600 yen), 9:00-16:00 (tea ceremony: 800 yen); Kyoto City Bus #5 or #100, get off at Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan Heian Jingu-mae; www.heianjingu.or.jp

April 3 - 6
Bonsai Exhibition

At Kyoto Botanical Garden; About 80 bonsai dwarf trees will be exhibited in the exhibition hall as well as sale of bonsai.

200 yen; Subway Karasuma Line, Kitayama Stn.; www.pref.kyoto.jp/plant

April 3
Seiryu-e Dragon Performance

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kiyomizu Temple; Seiryu-e or the Blue Dragon Festival was created to honor Seiryu, one of four divine god-beasts said to guard Kyoto’s borders against encroaching misfortune and disaster; People form a dynamic procession that starts out from the temple and parade around the neighborhood.

From 14:00; 400 yen; Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; www.kiyomizudera.or.jp

April 4
Go-o Taisai Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Go-o Shrine; The shrine enshrines Wake-no Kinomaro (733-799), an adviser to the Heian Period Emperor Kammu (737-806). Instead of the usual komainu (mythical lion-like beasts) that stand guard outside of most Japanese shrines, the shrine has a pair of inoshishi, or wild boar. The shrine is famous for its blessings which can heal people who suffer from leg and foot injuries. April 4th is the day on which Wake-no Kiyomaro passed away and the ceremony starts at 11:00.

Subway Karasuma Line, Marutamachi Stn.; www.gooujinja.or.jp

April 5, 11 & 12
Saga Dai Nenbutsu Kyogen

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Seiryo-ji Temple; The temple's famous ''Saga Dai Nenbutsu Kyogen'' (Intangible Cultural Property) was started in the Kamakura Period; Nenbutsu Kyogen evolved into a means of imparting the teachings through comedic theater, and today amateur locals perform and preserve the tradition.

From 13:30, 14:30, 15:30; Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Saga Shakado-mae; seiryoji.or.jp

April 5-19
Sakura Flower Ceremony

At Kurama Temple; As the temple is located on the mountain, sakura start to bloom later than the central city area; During the time of sakura, flowers, tea, traditional dance and music will be performed for the deity.

300 yen; Take Eizan train from Demachiyanagi Stn. and get off at Kurama Stn. (last station); www.kuramadera.or.jp

April 12
Taiko Cherry Blossom Viewing Party

At Daigo-ji Temple: The gorgeous procession, Taiko Hanami Gyoretsu recreates the atmosphere of the famous large cherry viewing party Hideyoshi Toyotomi used to hold on this site in the late 16th century.

The procession starts at 13:00; Admission free; Subway Tozai Line, Daigo Stn.; www.daigoji.or.jp

April 12
Kamo Kyokusui-no En

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kamigamo Shrine: Participants dress in gorgeous Heianperiod costumes and play an elegant poetry reading game along the stream (from 13:00); Traditional music will be performed along with an outdoor tea ceremony.

1,000 yen (with matcha green tea for the first 500 visitors); Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Kamigamo Misonobashi; www.kamigamojinja.jp

April 12
Yasurai Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Imamiya Shrine; Originally began as a ritual to pray for vanquishing disease and keeping good health; Participants of all ages along with children dance and chant together bearing big flower decorated umbrellas from around 15:00.

Kyoto City Bus #46, get off at Imamiya Jinja-mae; www.imamiyajinja.org

April 15 & 16
Reisai Annual Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Heian Shrine; The most important annual event of the shrine celebrating the accession ceremony day held in 781 of Emperor Kanmu; On the 15th, various ceremonies will be held including a traditional Japanese music concert, dances by maiko and geiko and a tea offering ceremony to the deity, etc.

From 10:00; Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Okazaki Koen/Bijutsukan, Heian Jingumae; www.heianjingu.or.jp

April 19
Inari Shinko Festival

At Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine; Once a year, the deity of this shrine is transported to an area a little north of the main shrine complex; The Shinko Festival starts at 11:00; Five mikoshi portable shrines are carried in a procession to the Otabisho resting place near Kyoto Station.

JR Nara Line Inari Stn. or Keihan Fushimi Inari Stn.; inari.jp

April 23-25
Memorial Service for Monk Honen

At Hyakumanben Chion-ji Temple; This is the place where Monk Honen was born; To commemorate his spirit, a unique prayer ceremony is held by making a large circle and passing a big rosary from one worshipper to the next.

Kyoto City Bus #203, 206, get off at Hyakumanben; chionji.jp

April 29
Kyokusui-no Utage

At Jonan-gu Shrine; From 14:00, participants dressed in gorgeous Heian period kimono sit along a stream and play an ancient poetry writing game; Traditional dance will also be performed on this day.

Subway Karasuma Line Takeda Stn., and take Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3, get off at Jonangu Higashi-guchi; www.jonangu.com

April 29-May 5
Mibu Kyogen

At Mibu Temple; The Buddhist Saint Enkaku used Buddhist sutras in special theatre plays to spread Buddhism to the people; The plays are performed between 13:00 and 17:30; Five of 30 kyogen plays are performed each day.

1,000 yen; Kyoto City Bus #26, 28, get off at Mibudera-michi; www.mibudera.com

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets


April 4
Handicraft Market at Umekoji Park: 9:00-16:00

April 5
Flea Market at To-ji Temple: 7:00-16:00

April 8, 18, 28
Handicraft Market at Toyokuni Shrine: 10:00-15:00

April 11
Heian Rakuichi Market at Okazaki Park: 10:00-16:00

April 15
Handicraft Market at Hyakumanben Chion-ji Temple: 8:00-16:00

April 21
Kobo-san Flea Market at To-ji Temple: 8:00-16:00

April 25
Tenjin-san Flea Market at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine: 7:00-16:30

April 26
Kamigamo Handcraft Market at Kamigamo Shrine: 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.