Celebrate each of the city’s distinct four seasons when staying at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. Year round, the area bursts with activities and festivals that capture the essence of Kyoto’s culture and outdoor spaces.
For your travel planning, we’ve listed Kyoto’s major public holidays and events below. Let us help you learn more about an event and plan your experience – we invite you to contact the Concierge for more information.
|New Year's Day
Coming of Age Day
|National Foundation Day||February|
|Vernal Equinox Day||March|
|Respect for the Aged Day
Autumnal Equinox Day
|Health Sports Day||October|
Labour Thanksgiving Day
GMT +9 hours
Japanese and English
Local voltage is 100 volts AC. Adapters available; please request through the Concierge.
- Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Sunday and public holidays: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
- New Year’s festivities are enjoyed at Shinto shrines and temples.
- Toshiya (Oh-mato Taikai) – This annual archery competition is held on the second Sunday of January at Sanju Sangendo Temple. The male and female contestants are all 20 years old, and the women wear beautiful kimono attire.
- Setsubun – Taking place one day before spring according to the lunar calendar, Setsubun involves a variety of activities designed to cast away misfortune and welcome spring.
- Cherry blossoms bloom at the end of March. Some palaces and temples host illumination events in the evening to showcase the trees.
- Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka – This event, held at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, is one of six annual sumo wrestling tournaments in Japan, each lasting 15 days.
- Geiko and maiko performances – Geiko (geisha performers) and maiko (younger apprentices) perform exciting dance routines for the public.
- Aoi Festival – Originating in the 6th century to mark the end of a famine, Aoi Festival is one of the three largest festivals in the city. It takes place at Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, with decorations made of aoi, or hollyhock leaves.
- Dine Kawadoko-style at the Kibune or Takao areas during the warm-weather months, when restaurants install seating over or next to the cool river for a refreshing (and scenic) dining experience.
- Until September, dine al fresco at Kawayuka restaurants along the city’s picturesque Kamo River.
- Gion Festival – Dating back 1,200 years, this prominent festival celebrates Kyoto’s rich history with elaborate floats and parades, as well as artistic performances and shrine ceremonies.
- Tanabata Festival – Across Japan, this event is known as the star festival, when the stars Altair and Vega meet once a year, according to Chinese legend. Adults and children alike write wishes on colourful strips of paper and hang them from bamboo branches.
- Bonfire Festival – Halfway up the mountains that surround the city of Kyoto, beds of fire are prepared and lit, making for the most magnificent bonfire, one of Kyoto's August Obon Festival activities.
- Jidai Festival – This large parade is made up of 2,000 participants, dressed in traditional costumes from various Japanese eras to celebrate the foundation of Kyoto.
- The beautiful momiji (Japanese maple) season runs from the middle of November through the beginning of December.
- Kaomise – The “face showing” ceremony marks the beginning of a new season for kabuki (traditional Japanese drama) performances.
- Omisoka – On Kyoto’s New Year’s Eve, locals travel to temples to perform joya-no-kame, a sacred bell-ringing ceremony.