Best time to visit Kyoto

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Best time of year to visit Kyoto

Mild periods from March to May and September to November are the best time to visit Kyoto. Cherry blossoms and tourist crowds fill the streets in April, so you should book accommodation well in advance. If you are a fan of festivals like Gion and Tanabata, the crowdless time between June and August will suit you best. Just mind that summers can get unbearably hot and humid, especially when the typhoon season kicks in. Autumn will stun you with red and orange hues and treat you with exotic fruits like kyoho, kaki or yuzu. Winter in Kyoto is cold, but it comes with a bonus—moderate rates in hotels, where your toes will get all the warmth they deserve.

15 THINGS TO DO IN KYOTO (MARCH 26 - APRIL 04)

Hanami Season

Hanami Season

February–April  • activity

Enjoy the colorful sights of spring blossoms

Ume Blossom

Ume Blossom

February–March • nature

The beautiful though often underappreciated blossoms of Japanese plum or apricot are one of the first signs of spring

Geisha Dances in Kyoto

Geisha Dances in Kyoto

April–late May | early November • event

Don't miss the chance to meet prominent Japanese Geishas while in Kyoto

Baseball Season

Baseball Season

March–October  • activity

An American sport with the Japanese twist

Sagano Bamboo Forest (Arashiyama)

Sagano Bamboo Forest (Arashiyama)

all year round • nature

Mind visiting this bamboo grove to relax from the noisy city streets

Strawberries

Strawberries

December–May • food

The unique Japanese strawberries make for great romantic gifts

Kusa Mochi

Kusa Mochi

March–May • food

Traditionally eaten in spring, "grass mochi" is a true delight

Fukinoto

Fukinoto

late March– April • food

Taste this true sign of spring

Hanami Dango

Hanami Dango

late March–April • food

Thanks to this traditional Japanese dessert you will be able to feel cherry blossoms with all your five senses

Samurai Kembu (Sword Dance)

Samurai Kembu (Sword Dance)

all year round • activity

Learn about the Samurai culture and traditions at Kembu Theater in Kyoto

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

late March–mid-April • nature

View stunning sakura blossoms with UNESCO world heritage sites on a backdrop

Onsen (Hot Springs)

Onsen (Hot Springs)

December–February (all year round) • activity

One of the best ways to relax after a busy day of sightseeing

Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

all year round • activity

Kyoto is the magical place where tea ceremonies were born, so be sure to check out the best tea houses in the city

Hiking

Hiking

March–May | September–November • activity

Marvellous mountains, hills, crystal blue lakes, rivers and waterfalls, multiple spiritual temples and shrines—all of this awaits you in the Kyoto area

Hozu-Gawa River Boat Ride

Hozu-Gawa River Boat Ride

March–May | September–November (all year round) • activity

The perfect activity for a nature lover with plenty to see and explore

30 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Daimonji or Gozan no Okuribi

Daimonji or Gozan no Okuribi

August 16 • event

Enormous characters set afire to guide ancestors to the other world

Azaleas

Azaleas

late May–June  • nature

A colourful miracle of spring!

Obon Matsuri

Obon Matsuri

July 13–July 15 | August 13–August 15 • event

Feel the spirituality of the Japanese Buddhist festival of the Dead

Inago

Inago

December–February  • food

This insect dish is available in jars or freshly boiled and prepared over rice during winter

Tanabata Festival

Tanabata Festival

July 07–August • event

Celebrated nationwide, this festival brings colour and romance to daily life!

Kinkan

Kinkan

November–February • food

A small fruit with a sweet peel

Toshikoshi Soba

Toshikoshi Soba

December 31 • food

Traditional noodles for a great New Year's meal

Kichiji

Kichiji

December–February  • food

A small fish with a great taste

Ume

Ume

June–July • food

Well-known for their blossoms, umes are Japanese plums

Aoi Matsuri (Festival)

Aoi Matsuri (Festival)

May 15 • event

Go back to ancient Kyoto and take in the real atmosphere of imperial culture

Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro

Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro

March 2019 (TBA) • event

This unusual event creates a dreamy and magical atmosphere around Higashiyama

Sunakake Matsuri

Sunakake Matsuri

February 11 • activity

Have you ever dreamt of going back to your childhood and starting a sand fight?

Kaki or Japanese Persimmon

Kaki or Japanese Persimmon

November–February  • food

An autumn fruit with a woody texture

Jidai Matsuri (Festival)

Jidai Matsuri (Festival)

October 22 • event

An ancient costume procession that cannot be missed

Yabusame Shinji Festival

Yabusame Shinji Festival

May 03 • event

Check out unique Japanese sports of mounted archery at Yabusame Shinji

Autumn Foliage (Kōyō)

Autumn Foliage (Kōyō)

mid-October–mid-December • nature

This is a magical time when all parks, temples, shrines and gardens explode into red and orange hues

Kakigori or Shaved Ice

Kakigori or Shaved Ice

June–August • food

Suffering from intense summer heat? Cool down with delicious Kakigori

Nashi Pears

Nashi Pears

September–October • food

Similar to apples in taste and texture, Japanese pears are large and crispy

Yuzu

Yuzu

November–December • food

Used mostly for cooking, this citrus fruit has a unique taste

Fuji Apples

Fuji Apples

September–November • food

These special Japanese apples are both sweet and juicy

Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumber

December–February • food

Though not too pleasing to the eye, these creatures are a true delicacy

Asparagus

Asparagus

May–July • food

You will find it everywhere during this season!

Eel

Eel

June–August  • food

In Japan summer means eel time!

Nabemono or Nabe

Nabemono or Nabe

December–February • food

Try this Japanese hot pot dish when it's cold outside

Gion Matsuri (Festival)

Gion Matsuri (Festival)

July • event

This month of rituals and traditions can't be missed during your Kyoto vacation

Satonishiki Cherries

Satonishiki Cherries

May–July • food

A bright red and luxurious variety of cherry

Kyoho

Kyoho

September–December • food

Japanese grapes with a thick skin

Water Lilies Season

Water Lilies Season

mid-May–mid-September • nature

The rainy season is the perfect time for nature fans to be in Kyoto

Kurama Fire Festival

Kurama Fire Festival

October 22 • event

A local event where the village becomes one big family

Mikan

Mikan

October–January • food

A citrus fruit that is easy to peel