Home > Kyoto This Month > 2017 Dec. - 2018 Jan. Event Highlights



2017 Dec. - 2018 Jan.
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 1


Dec. 1-18
A Must-not-miss Annual Event in Kyoto
The Festive ''KAOMISE'' GRAND KABUKI
Starring Actors from East and West



The Name Succession of Nakamura Shikan VIII and his three sons, Hashinosuke IV, Fukunosuke III and Utanosuke IV (from right); Photo by Daisuke Araki

Matinee 11:00 AM
Evening Show 4:00 PM
Show time: Approx. 4 hours 15 min. (including 2 or 3 intermissions)

Experience the world of Kabuki, a traditional Japanese theatrical art form that is also widely appreciated by theater lovers around the world. This is the only chance in the year that many famous Kabuki actors come together in Kyoto and perform.

Tickets
1st Class : 20,000 yen, 2nd Class : 12,000 yen, Upper Tier A : 8,000 yen, Upper Tier B : 5,000 yen, Upper Tier C : 3,500 yen

*Cash (Japanese Yen only) and major credit cards will be accepted.
*English Earphone Guide (Audio Translation Guide Service) is available to rent.

Ticket Purchase
Online (English): http://www1.ticket-web-shochiku.com/en/
Tickets on the day are also available.
*Tickets cannot be returned or exchanged after purchase or money refunded.

At ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Main Hall




Pick Up Event 2


Dec. 8-17
Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro - 2017
17:00-20:30 (rain-or-shine)



Togetsu-kyo Bridge

Arashiyama Hanatouro, one of the most popular large-scale modern events in the Old Capital, is staged every December in the Saga Arashiyama district. An approx. 5-km path will be lined with a number of lanterns made using Kyoto craft techniques and materials. Along the route, visitors will also find a number of huge ikebana ower arrangement displays.


Bamboo Forest

*During the event period, the night time special opening/light-up will be held at some surrounding temples/shrines; Also various events are scheduled to be held; For details, see their website: www.hanatouro.jp/e

Photos courtesy of Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Council




Pick Up Event 3


Romantic Winter Illumination in Kyoto


KYOCERA

Head quarter of ROHM Building
Until Dec. 25 (16:45-22:00): Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Nishioji Gojo

Kyoto Hotel Okura
Until Dec. 25 (17:30-24:00): Northeast corner of Kawaramachi and Oike.

KYOCERA
Dec. 1-25 (17:30-22:00): Access: Kyoto City Bus Minami #1, 2, 3 from Karasuma Subway Line, Takeda Stn.; get off at Pulse Plaza-mae.

Kyoto Botanical Garden
Dec. 15-25 (17:30-20:00; enter by 19:30): Admission: 200 yen; Access: Karasuma Subway line, Kitayama Stn..






Until Dec. 29
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 the tourist season).

Tickets: 620 yen (one way); Access: JR Saga Arashiyama Stn.; www.sagano-kanko.co.jp


Every Day
Hozugawa Kudari River Boat Ride

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 10:00-14:30 (the last boat departs at 14:30). *No operation from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4.

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.; Tel: 0771-22-5846 (Hozugawa Yusen Association); www.hozugawakudari.jp


Dec. 1
Kencha Festival at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

The origin of this ritual dates back to 1587 when the warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi held a big tea party at the shrine; The ceremony starts from 10:00; A tea ceremony is held and people can enjoy a bowl of matcha green tea (9:00-15:00).

Tickets: 5,000 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; Tel: 075- 461-0005; kitanotenmangu.or.jp


Dec. 2 & 9 & Jan. 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.

Tickets: 2,000 yen; 18:00-19:00; Reservation required; 9th and Jan. 13th & 27th at Sakura Urushitei; Email: sakura@urushitei.jp ; 2nd at Sakura Honganji; Email: culture@kyotoryokan-sakura.com


Dec. 3
Shimai Daikoku Festival at Jishu Shrine (in Kiyomizu Temple)

The ceremony starts from 14:00 at this small shrine located in the precinct of Kiyomizu Temple; Prayers are offered to the deity and people pray for a healthy life for the next year.

Entry: 400 yen to enter Kiyomizu Temple; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizumichi; Tel: 075-541-2097; www.jishujinja.or.jp


Dec. 7 & 8
Daikon White Radish Ceremony at Senbon Shaka-do Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This event is held to celebrate the day on which Buddha achieved enlightenment; Eating radish (daikon) is believed to dispel misfortune; The Seido-kai memorial service is held on Dec. 8, from 10:00.

Admission free; Boiled white radish offerings are available between 10:00 and 16:00 on both days for 1,000 yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kamishichiken; Tel: 075-461-5973; www.daihoonji.com


Dec. 8
Needles Ceremony at Kokuzo Horin-ji Temple

This temple has attracted worshippers for centuries who wish to improve their hand sewing and entertainment performance skills; A special service to express one's gratitude for used needles is held from 13:00 until 14:00 on this day; People bring used needles from all over Japan and pray for better sewing skills and family happiness; A traditional Japanese dance performance and free sweet sake offering will be held as well.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #28, get off at Arashiyama Koen; Tel: 075-862-0013; www.kokuzohourinji.com


Dec. 12
Announcement of This Year's Kanji Character at Kiyomizu Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

''Kanji that express the year,'' which symbolizes the social trend of the year from a nationwide perspective, the chief priest then writes the character of the year on a large sheet of paper on the stage in front of the huge crowd, purifying this year's sins so as to welcome an auspicious new year.

Entry: 400 yen; From 14:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-551-1234; www.kiyomizudera.or.jp


Dec. 13
Koto Hajime Year End Greetings in Gion


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From around 10:00, geiko and maiko in each Kagai (maiko & geiko districts) set out to visit their teachers and others to thank them for their support; They bring kagami-mochi, a special New Year’s rice cake to their teachers.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion.


Dec. 13 & 14
The Kyoto Cuisine Exhibition at the Miyako Messe


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

A number of Kyoto's top Japanese restaurants display their best dishes, their cooking skills and the beautiful appearance of their dish arrangements; Part of the event includes a performance of the Shiki Bocho, a Japanese cooking knife ceremony and a tea ceremony performance; Dining areas are also a fun part of this event.

Tickets: 800 yen; 10:00-16:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, 100, get off at Okazakikoen Bijutsukan Heian Jingu-mae; Tel: 075-221-5833 (Kyoto Cuisine Association); www.miyakomesse.jp


Dec. 13-25
Ofuku Ume Plum Service at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

People drink a special tea on the morning of New Year's Day to ensure a healthy new year; Ofuku Ume Plums for this special tea will be available from this day (700 yen/6 plums) until the stock runs out at the shrine.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; Tel: 075-461-0005; kitanotenmangu.or.jp


Dec. 13-31
Kakure Nenbutsu Buddhist Sutra Chanting at Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple

When Kyoto was struck by a serious plague in 951, the Buddhist monk Kuya held a dancing and sutra chanting ritual to stop the plague; Nenbutsu Odori, a Buddhist chant dance originally developed from this ritual, will be performed from 16:00.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-561-6980; www.rokuhara.or.jp


Dec. 15-25
The Old Mitsui Family Shimogamo Villa Special Light-up & Contemporary Art Exhibition

This villa was established in 1925 and consists of outstanding Japanese elements from different periods; A modern art exhibition featuring Japanese and Chinese artists will be held on the 2nd floor of the main building and tea ceremony room during the day; Light-up will be held around the outside of the main building (no entry to interior).

Entry: 1,200 yen for Art Exhibition (9:00-16:30); 700 yen for the light-up (18:00-20:30); Closed on Dec. 20; A 5-min. walk from Demachiyanagi Stn. of Keihan Railway or Eizan Railway; kyokanko.or.jp/mitsuike/english.html


Dec. 20
Susuharai Temple Cleaning at Higashi & Nishi Hongan-ji Temple

susuharai
© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Buddhist priests and other citizens from all over Japan journey to these two important temples on this day to participate in the yearend cleaning; They clean in a very interesting manner such as wiping the tatami mats moving all together in a long line and fanning the dust out of the hall using huge hand-held fans all at the same time.

Admission free; Nishi Hongan-ji Temple: From 7:00, Higashi Hongan-ji Temple: From 9:00; Access: Nishi Hongan-ji Temple; Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Nishi Honganji-mae; Higashi Hongan-ji Temple: A 7-min. walk from JR Kyoto Stn.


Dec. 23
Kabocha Pumpkin Ceremony at Yata Temple

This pumpkin special ceremony starts from 10:00; A pumpkin is set in front of the main hall and people come to touch it to ward off illness; Visitors will receive free cooked pumpkin (limited to the first 1,000 people).

Admission free; Access: Subway Tozai Line, Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Stn.; Tel: 075-241-3608.


Dec. 25
Ominugui Buddhist Statue Cleaning at Chion-in Temple

Ominugui, Buddhist statue cleaning, starts from 13:00; The wooden statue of the Buddhist saint, Honen, will be cleaned by monks with fine cotton cloths to ward off misfortune.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Chionin-mae; Tel: 075-531-2111; www.chion-in.or.jp


Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Okera Mairi Visit at Yasaka Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

People light okera-bi, a thin straw rope, and bring it back home to light the first fire of the New Year; Ohara-e purification ritual starts at 15:00 and the Joya New Year's Eve Festival at 19:00.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-6155; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 1-3
Obuku-cha New Year's Tea Service at Rokuhara Mitsu-ji Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

A cup of green tea made with pure water drawn on New Year's Day will be served to visitors; It is believed that drinking this tea at the beginning of the year can prevent illness throughout the year.

Admission free; 300 yen for Obuku-cha tea; 9:00-17:00; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-561-6980; rokuhara.or.jp


Jan. 2-4
New Year Calligraphy at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

The deity of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine is Sugawara no Michizane, an important court officer as well as a gifted poet and calligrapher in the Heian period (794-1185); From 13:00 on the 3rd, kyogen comic theatre will be performed; People also come here during this period to write the first calligraphy of the year (50 yen/paper; 10:00-16:00).

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; Tel: 075-461-0005; kitanotenmangu.or.jp


Jan. 3
Karuta Hajime at Yasaka Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

At 13:00, fourteen women dressed in Heian period court costumes play karuta (a traditional Japanese card game introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century).

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-6155; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 4
Kemari Hajime at Shimogamo Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kemari, a kind of football game dating from the Heian period (794-1185) is played here by men in court costumes starting at 13:30.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamojinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010; www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 9-10
Ebisu Festival in Gion at Yasaka Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

From 15:00 on the 9th, a boat carrying Shichifukujin, the seven gods of good fortune, will be paraded between Shijo Karasuma and Yasaka Shrine; An auspicious bamboo decoration will be presented to visitors on both days.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-6155; www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp


Jan. 11-14
Gafu Bonsai Exhibition at the Miyako Messe

Over 1,200 bonsai dwarf trees will be exhibited; These special trees have been carefully cultivated by famous bonsai specialists.

Entry: 800 yen; 9:30-16:30 (until 15:00 on the last day); Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, #100, get off at Okazakikoen Bijutsukan Heian Jingumae; All Japan Bonsai Association: Tel: 046-269-9891; www.miyakomesse.jp


Jan. 14
New Year Japanese Archery Competition at Sanjusangen-do Temple


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

This interesting and difficult archery contest originated in the 16th century; Today, the contest is mostly ceremonial but many archers compete (9:00-15:30).

Admission free (generally 600 yen); Access: Kyoto City Bus #100, 206, get off at Hakubutsukan Sanjusangendo-mae; Tel: 075-561-0467; sanjusangendo.jp


Jan. 15-31
Azuki-gayu Festival at Torin-in Temple in Myoshin-ji Temple Complex


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

Kyoto people believe that eating red bean rice porridge (azuki-gayu) at the beginning of the year will prevent illness; Azuki-gayu is one of the vegetarian dishes regularly eaten in Zen temples.

Tickets: 3,800 yen (plum tea, azuki-gayu, shojin vegetarian cuisine included; reservations not required); 11:00-15:00; Access: JR Sagano Line, Hanazono Stn.; Tel: 075-463-1334; www.myoshinji.or.jp


Jan. 16
Musha Shinji at Kamigamo Shrine


© Takayoshi Horiuchi (Staff for one)

A Japanese archery event will be held from 10:30 to ward off the bad luck of the coming year; There are demons painted on the rear of each target.

Admission free; Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, get off at Kamigamo Misonobashi; Tel: 075-781-0011; www.kamigamojinja.jp


Jan. 20
Yutate Kagura Ceremony at Jonan-gu Shrine

A Miko, a shrine maiden, holding a bamboo shoot, scatters boiling water from the large iron pot swiftly around to get rid of bad spirits and pray for good health for the new-year.

Admission free; From 14:00; Access: A 15-min. walk from Subway Karasuma Line or Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Takeda Stn.; Tel: 075-623-0846; www.jonangu.com







Temple & Shrine Flea Markets



© AD BRAIN INC. KYOTO VISITOR'S GUIDE


Dec. 3 & Jan. 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.


Dec. 8, 18, 28 & Jan. 8, 18, 28
Toyokuni Shrine: A very small market offering local products; 10:00-15:00.


Dec. 15 & Jan. 15
Chion-ji Temple: Kyoto's largest handicraft market; An absolutely amazing range of handmade items at incredible prices; 8:00-16:00.


Dec. 21 & Jan. 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.


Dec. 23 & Jan. 27
Kyoto Okazaki Marche: Strictly selected authentic handmade goods will be on sale at Tsutaya bookshop's open space in the Okazaki area; 11:00-17:00.


Dec. 24 & Jan. 28
Kamigamo Shrine: Handicrafts, arts, food, and more; 9:00-16:00.


Dec. 25 & Jan. 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.

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