Things to Do in Kyoto in August

Planning a trip to Kyoto in August? We've compiled a list of things to do to help you plan your trip.

Former capital Kyoto is for those who want to experience traditional Japan. It boasts famous festivals (i.e. Daimonji) and over 2,000 temples and shrines. There’s plenty to do throughout the year, and August is no different. Here’s a list of things to do in Kyoto in August to keep you busy.

May 1st-September 30th:  Kamogawa Noryo Yuka Riverside Dining

Kamogawa Noryo Yuka

Photo Credit: w00kie via Flickr cc

Feel the evening breeze as you dine by the Kamo River. Choose from one of the dozens of restaurants, all with large terraces looking out onto the river’s banks. This custom, dating as far back as the 1600s, could make for a romantic night with your significant other. To fully embrace the vibe, kimonos are available for rent. 

Restaurant Recommendations:

Amore Kiyamachi

This casual trattoria serves delicious firewood baked pizzas and a good range of wines to suit any budget. 

Type: Italian 

Price: ~3,000 yen

Address: 161 Izumiyacho, Kyoto, Kyoto 600-8014

Access: Gion-Shijo station

Bussarakan

Located in a former teahouse, Bussarakan boasts affordable and authentic Thai cuisine.  

Type: Thai

Price: ~4,000 yen

Address: 173-1 Minoyacho, Shimogyo, Kyoto 600-8015

Access: Kiyomizu-Gojo station

Tazuru

Somewhat pricey, but if you’re after some authentic Kyoto dining, Tazuru is the way to do it. 

Type: Kyoto Kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi-course meal)

Price: <13,000 yen

Address: 179-1 Minoyacho, Shimogyo, Kyoto 600-8015

Access: Kiyomizu-Gojo station

August 1st-18th: Kodai-ji Temple Illumination

Kodai-ji Temple Illumination

Photo Credit: Norio NAKAYAMA via Flickr cc

In commemoration of renowned general Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kodai-ji temple was founded in 1606 by his wife, who is also enshrined at the site.

For only 600 yen, enter the temple for a memorial service to Hideyoshi, and outside, enjoy the illuminations that engulf the temple and its gardens in a beautiful yellow hue.

Price: 600 yen

Address: 526 Kodaiji Shimo-Kawaramachi, Higashiyama, Kyoto 605-0825

Access: Gion-Shijo station

August 5th: Manto Kuyoe at Daigo-ji Temple

Photo Credit: Kevin via Flickr cc

Thousands of lanterns light up this UNESCO World Heritage Site as people pay their respects to the Buddha.

Price: 600 yen

Address: 22 Daigohigashiojicho, Fushimi, Kyoto 601-1325

Access: Daigo station

August 6th: Yatori-No Shinji Festival at Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine

Photo Credit: Steven Bratman via Flickr cc

Yatori-no Shinji Festival marks the end of Japan’s long, hot summer. At Shimogamo shrine, the occasion is marked with an old custom in which 60 men, dressed only in loincloths, compete to retrieve 50 ceremonial arrows placed in the center of Mitarashi Pond. Succeed and good fortune is said to come your way. Get there before 7 pm to secure a pond-side spot to spectate from. 

Price: Free!

Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumigawacho, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-0807

Access: Demachiyanagi station

August 6th-12th: Kyo No Tanabata Star Festival

Kyo No Tanabata Star Festival

Photo credit: Laura Tomàs Avellana via Flickr cc

“Milky Way Illumination”

Based on the tale of deities Orihime and Hikoboshi and their forbidden love, Kyo No Tanabata Star Festival is celebrated by writing wishes on pieces of paper and tying them to bamboo trees in the hope that they’ll be granted. Also enjoy the beautiful “Milky Way Illumination” along the Horikawa River bank whilst in the area.

Price: 100 yen/piece of paper

Address: Horikawacho, Kamigyo, Kyoto 602-8367

Access: Emmachi station

August 7th: Kameoka Peace Firework Festival

Firework

Photo Credit: hajime shiozaki via Flickr cc

This annual firework festival began after Kameoka declared itself as a city of peace in 1955. Prepare to be in awe as 5,000 fireworks light up the sky over the Hozugawa River.

Check out our firework festival guide to best prepare yourself for this grand spectacle. 

Price: Free!

Address: 2 Hozucho Shimo-Nakajima, Kameoka, Kyoto 6210005

Access: Kameoka station

August 7th-10th: Gojozaka Toki Matsuri

Gojozaka Toki Matsuri

Photo Credit: Christian Kaden via Flickr cc

With over 400 stalls, this pottery festival is one of the biggest festivals in Kyoto. Famous traditional Kyoto ceramics (kiyomizu-yaki) are sold here at bargain prices!  

Price: 1,000-640,000 yen/ceramic

Address: Gojo-zaka, Higashiyama, Kyoto 605-0864

Access: Shichijo station

August 8th-28th: Garden Museum Hiei Illumination 

Garden Museum Hiei

Photo Credit: Hiro – Kokoro☆Photo via Flickr cc

Inspired by French impressionism, this museum’s garden recalls Monet’s “Water Lillies” and is equally beautiful.

From the summit of Mount Hiei, take in the views of the surrounding city and Lake Biwa and stick around into the evening to see the garden spectacularly lit up.

Price: 1,030 yen

Address:  4 Shugakuin Shakuragatanishi MegadakeKyoto

Access: Hiei Sancho station

August 16th: Gozan No Okuribi (Daimonji)

Daimonji

Photo Credit: sprklg via Flickr cc

Daimonji, the most iconic festival in Kyoto, attracts thousands of visitors each year. Large Chinese characters and shapes are burned onto the surrounding mountainsides, guiding souls of deceased family members back to the spirit world.  

Popular viewing spots include the Kamo River bank and the highest point of Funaokayama Park. 

Price: Free!

Address of Funaokayama Park: 49 Kita Funaokacho Murasakino, Kita, Kyoto 603-8227

Access to Funaokayama Park: Kitanohakubaicho station

August 16th: Arashiyama Toro Nagashi Festival

Toro Nagashi

Photo Credit: Tamaki Sono via Flickr cc

Arashiyama Toro Nagashi Festival is held each year to commemorate the victims of World War II.

Lanterns of different colors are released from boats at the center of Hirosawa Pond. Togetsukyo Bridge is the best place to enjoy this colorful scene of lanterns floating away from each other. 

Price: 1,000 yen/lantern

Address: Saga, Nakanoshimakanyuchi, Ukyo, Kyoto 616-8384

Access: Arashiyama station

August 23rd and 24th: Sento Kuyo at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple

Sento Kuyo

Photo Credit: Patrick Vierthaler via Flickr cc

Before Adashino Nenbutsu-ji temple was built, the site was used as a common grave. Now, the temple holds an annual memorial service (Sento Kuyo) for the deceased, where 10,000 stone statues are lit up by 1,000 candles. To participate in this solemn event, an admission fee of 500 yen is asked for.

Price: 500 yen

Address: 17 Saga Toriimotoadashinocho, Ukyo, Kyoto 616-8436

Access: Saga-Arashiyama station

Weather

Average (°F) Highest (°F) Lowest (°F) Rainfall Days Precipitation (mm)
83 91 75 11

130

*Dates are subject to change.

Things to Do in Kyoto

Kyoto Sightseeing

C. Akira

C. Akira

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# Things to Do in Kyoto # Things to Do in Japan

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