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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.

July's Top-picked Events

Ukai Traditional Cormorant Fishing in Uji

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Ukai is a traditional method of catching small Japanese trout using trained cormorant. The Usho, or ''Master trainer'' of cormorants skillfully manipulates cormorants to catch small trout in the water. As soon as the cormorant catch a fish, the Usho hauls in the ropes and retrieves the fish by gently handling the cormorant's throat. Ukai is performed in the evening and the only illuminations are the pine torches lit on the boats. Such an exotic summer entertainment in Kyoto!

July 1 to September 30: Reception from 18:00 / Boat departs at 19:00 (30 min. earlier after September 1); Access: 15-min by train from Kyoto Stn. or about 30 min. by Keihan train from Sanjo or Gion Shijo. Boat fee: Adults: 2,000 yen, Children: 1,000 yen (under 13). www.kyoto-uji-kankou.or.jp

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 every hour between 9:00 and 15:30 (7 services).

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

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 (4,000 yen).

Kyoto City Bus #4, #46 get off at Kamigamo-jinja-mae; www.kamigamojinja.jp

July 1 - Sept. 30
Ukai Traditional Cormorant Fishing

Such an exotic summer entertainment in Kyoto; The Master trainer of cormorants skillfully manipulates cormorants to catch small trout in the water with only the light of pine torches lit on the boats.

In Arashiyama (until Sept. 23); Randen Arashiyama Stn.; 19:00 & 20:00; Adults: 1,800 yen, children: 900 yen (under 13); arashiyamayakatabune. com ; In Uji; Keihan or JR Uji Stn.; Boat departs at 19:00; Adults: 2,000 yen, children: 1,000 yen (under 13).

July 7
Tanabata Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Shiramine Jingu Shrine; Kemari, a traditional ball-kicking game, will be played by people dressed in ancient court costumes after the ceremony from 13:30; From 16:00, girls dressed in colorful kimono will perform a group dance.

Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Horikawa Imadegwa; shiraminejingu.or.jp

July 8
Kifune Water Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Kifune Shrine; 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); Japanese traditional dance from 11:00.

From 10:00; Kyoto City Bus #4, get off at Demachiyanagi eki-mae and take Eizan Railway to Kibune-guchi Stn.; kifunejinja.jp

July 9-12
Pottery Commemorative Ceremony and Market

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Senbon Shaka-do Temple; 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.

10:00-20:00; Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kamishichiken; www.daihoonji.com

July 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: kyototourlounge@kyotoinnandtour.com ; 27th at Sakura Honganji; Email: culture@kyotoryokan-sakura.com

July 19-28
Mitarashi Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Shimogamo Shrine; People put their feet in the cool waters of the stream running through the shrine and pray for a healthy life.

300 yen (charge for the candle); 9:00-21:00 (from 5:30 on 20th); Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamojinja-mae; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp

July 20 & 21
Yoimiya and Motomiya Festival

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine; On both days, Inari Shrine worshippers from all over Japan visit the shrine's headquarters to pray; At night (21st), a number of lanterns in the precinct will be lit up.

20th from 18:00, 21st from 9:00; JR Nara line, Inari Stn. or Keihan Fushimi Inari Stn.; inari.jp

July 25
Shishigatani Pumpkin Ritual

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Anraku-ji Temple; A ritual using pumpkin and a special public opening of the temple's treasures; Visitors are given portions of cooked pumpkin as a means to keep illness away.

500 yen; 9:00-15:00; Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Kinrinshako-mae; 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.

500 yen; 9:00-15:00 (cancelled in case of rain); Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Shinnyodomae; shin-nyo-do.jp

July 27 & 28
Cucumber Purification

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Gochizan Renge-ji Temple; 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.

1,000 yen (including a prayer & cucumber); 26th: 12:00- 20:00, 27th: 6:00-18:00; Kyoto City Bus #26, get off at Omuro Ninnaji; rengezi.com

July 28
Hi-watari Fire-walking Ritual

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Tanukidani Fudo-in Temple; 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.

Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Ichijo Sagarimatsu-cho; www.tanukidani.com

July 31
Sennichi Mairi Thousand-time Shrine Visit

© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At Atago Shrine; On the night of the 31st, many people walk up Mt. Atago to visit Atago Shrine; 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.

Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Hankyu Arashiyama-eki-mae and change to Kyoto Bus, get off at Kiyotaki; atagojinjya.jp

Temple & Shrine Flea Markets


July 6
Handcraft Market at Umekoji Park: 9:00-16:00

July 7
Kitayama Craft Market at Garden of Fine Art: 10:00-16:00

July 7
Flea Market at To-ji Temple: 7:00-16:00

July 8, 18, 28
Handcraft Market at Toyokuni Shrine: 10:00-15:00

July 13
Heian Rakuichi Market at Okazaki Park: 10:00-16:00

July 15
Handcraft Market at Chion-ji Temple: 8:00-16:00

July 20
Pottery Market at Jingu-michi Street: 11:00-19:00

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

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

July 27
Kyoto Okazaki Handcraft Marche: 11:00-17:00

July 28
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.