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This month's plans

"This month's plans" offers you some ideas to visit and feel at peace during your stay as well as enjoy seasonal events in Kyoto. They are mostly in outdoor, including some mountains, so that you can enjoy a green and healthy stay and save money as well!

Jidai matsuri Festival and Kurama Hi matsuri Festival

Jidai matsuri Festival and Kurama Hi matsuri Festival

October is a month of change in Kyoto; text by Steve Cooke

The weather changes from the balmy late summer of September to the crispness of autumnal October and the fashions on the streets change with it. The deep green mountainsides and parks of the city also follow suit, changing ever so slowly into their own autumn coats.

It is also change that is the essence of one of Kyoto’s most anticipated festivals, which is held this month. The Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) is a parade of periodic costumes that span over a thousand years of Japan’s history, from the Heian period to the Meiji restoration. Don’t miss this rare chance to see the whole spectrum of effects and apparel meticulously representative of each era of Japan’s rich history.

After gorging yourself on the photo opportunities of the parade, it might be time for one more change; a change of pace this time with the famously eccentric Kurama ‘Hi Matsuri’ Fire Festival, being held this same evening, 6pm. Kurama lies to the north of Kyoto City, and every year its transformation from a sleepy village to a blazing borough is one of the highlights of the Kyoto calendar. 

The whole town participates and marches through the streets with flaming torches, while the men sweat and shout as they heave massive pine torches towards the town’s ancient temple where a huge watch fire licks the night sky. This is local ritual in its purest form and proves that even with the hectic pace of today’s world, some things never change.

  • 12:00-14:30 (Jidai matsuri), 18:00~ (Himatsuri)
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace (Jidai matsuri), Yuki jinjya Shrine (Himatsuri)

View Himukai-daijingu Shrine in a larger map

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Events Schedule

Flea Markets

  • Every 4th Sunday
  • Kamigamo Shrine
  • Handicraft market in peaceful and quiet grounds of the shrine.
  • Every 15th
  • Chion-ji Temple
  • 8:00-16:00
  • Kyoto's biggest monthly market of handmade goods and crafts.
  • Every 21st
  • To-ji Temple
  • 7:00-16:30
  • Known as Kobo-san, Kyoto's largest market for all kinds of antiques, tools and so on.
  • Every 25th
  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
  • 7:00-16:30
  • Known as Tenjin-san, a popular flea market at one of Kyoto's major shrines. Antiques, food, tools and so on.

Do you know Kyoto?