Best seven events you should visit in Kyoto for February 2018

Kyoto must be the most popular Japanese city to visit for foreign tourists.

The cityscape where you feel history of Japan, many historical buildings, Kyoto is filled with charm of Japan. Let’s check seven events which held at sightseeing spots in Kyoto. It will give you lots of fun to your trip.

Traditional festival

1.Mochibana – February 1.2018


Source: KYOTO-KIZUGAWA-CITY

Saganaka region in Kyoto, it called 1st of February, “Ni no shogatsu(second new year)” and dedicate Mochibana (bamboo decorated with rice cakes) at a shrine. At the main hall of the shrine you see many beautiful white Mochibana decorated with red&white paper just like flowers. During the afternoon at the main hall, miko (shrine maiden) performance a “Kagura” (theatrical dance) by the sound of “taiko” (drum) and “shō” (small bronze gong) to wish a good harvest. These New Year’s events Mochibana , “Onda” (another event to pray for a good harvest) keeping a traditional way of festival at shrines and designated as intangible folk cultural properties in Kyoto.

Schedule

Thursday February 1.2018

6:00 A.M – 8:00A.M. Offering mochibana at the shrine

10:30A.M. Monthly Kagura

1:00 P.M. Mochibana kagura

Access & address

・Place

Saganaka Jinja( shrine )

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

JR Gakkentoshi Line Nishikizu Station 5-minute walk

・Travel time from the terminal station of the city

From Kyoto station, Kintetsu Kyoto Line / JR Gakkentoshi Line about 50 minutes

・Address  1 Shimizu sagara kizu kizugawa-shi Kyoto

・Map

Admission & reservation

Admission free

No reservation required

Official website

No official website

2. Yasaka Jinja (shrine) Setsubun festival  February 2nd– 3rd .2018


Source: flickr

“Yasaka Jinja” (shrine) is called “Gion- san” with familiarity. At this shrine, every year “setubun-sai” (festival) is held for two days. You can experience gorgeous dedicated dances by maiko and try “fukumame” (fortune beans) with lot. This fukumame costs 300 yen. Besides a dedicated dance you can enjoy Japanese traditional “gagaku” (ancient imperial court music and dances), “shishimai” (Lion dance) which are great photo moments. After these dedicates dances, they scatter beans. On both days, they offer “amazake” (sweet, low- or non-alcohol Japanese drink made from fermented rice) for paid service. You also can buy special “O-fuda” (household amulet) which will expel bad luck during the year. Let’s join the “setubun-sai” and exorcize troubles and bad luck!

Schedule

Friday 2nd February – Saturday 3rd February

9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

Access & Address

・Place

Yasaka Jinja (shrine)

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

City bus , bus stop Gion nearby

・Travel time from the terminal station of the city

From Kyoto Station about 30 minutes by bus

・Address 625 Kitagawa Gion machi Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi Kyoto

・Map

Admission & reservation

Fukumame(fortune beans) /300yen

No reservation required

Official website

http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

3. Senbon Shakadō  Okame Setsubun-e February 3rd 2018


Source: Daihoonji

An 800 years historical event. Okame Setsubun-e is held at Daihōon-ji temple, Senbon Shakadō. A unique event that participators wearing red & white costumes, and praying for perfect happiness and prosperous wealth, happiness and good fortune. Okame was the wife of chief carpenter Takatugu. He built main hall at Daihōon-ji temple. Though she has helped her man for his work, she has killed herself. He has built Okamezuka ( Okame mound) for the memorial of his wife. At this event “Toshiotoko” (men of the Year – referring to a man born in the year with the same Chinese zodiac sign as the current year ) and women wear “Kesa” (traditional wear for Buddhist ), They wear a traditional mask and pray at the main hall. You can watch dance, Kyogen (traditional comic play combined with Noh – musical drama) and join the mamemaki (bean scattering) pray for getting rid of the demons, scaring off evil.

Schedule

Saturday February 3rd .2018
Buddhist ceremony 3:00P.M. – 5:00P.M.

Access & Address

・Place

Daihōon-ji temple(Senbon Shakadō)

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

City bus  bus stop “Kamishichiken” 3-minute walk

・ Travel time from the terminal station of the city

From Kyoto Station about 30 minutes by bus

・Address  Shichihonmatsu agaru imadegawa kamigyo-ku Kyoto-shi Kyoto

・Map

Admission & reservation

Admission free

No reservation required

Official website

http://www.daihoonji.com/event/

Event for enjoy nature

4. Miyama kayabuki no sato: Snow lantern  January 27  – February 3rd


Source:womanlife

You see many thatched houses in Miyama-machi. Especially “Kita (north)” in “Chii “area,

38 of 50 houses are thatched houses. The landscape is well protected for its historical importance. Since 1993 they are designated important preservation district for groups of traditional buildings of Japan. This area became a popular sightseeing spot throughout the year – one of the most beautiful landscapes of Japan. At this Miyama

“Kayabuki-no-sato” (Snow lantern festival) , you see handmade snow lanterns, flower LED lanterns – you also see at Arashiyama Kyoto, bamboo lanterns illuminating this fantastic winter landscape and night. During this event, thatched houses are illuminated and open-air stalls are opened. It might get busy during this event so we’ll recommend you to use public transportation or a day trip bus tour. You also can use Sonobe-Miyama excursion bus from JR Sonobe Station or a bus from Kyoto Station.

Schedule

Saturday January 27 – Saturday February 3rd

Snow lanterns, illuminated  17:00 – 20:00

  • The activities may change depending on the snow conditions and weather.

Access & address

・place

Miyama kayabuki-no-sato

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

Sonobe-Miyama excursion bus “Miyama-cho Shizen bunkamura” get off nearby

・Travel time from the terminal station of the city

From Kyoto Station about two hours by bus

・Address Kita Miyama-cho Nntan-shi, Kyoto

・Map

Admission & reservation

A fee has to be paid when using the parking lot

No reservation required

Official website

http://www.kayabukinosato.com/

Sports event

5. Kyoto Marathon 2018 – February 18.2018


Source: flickr

Kyoto Marathon is every year held in world famous traditional old town Kyoto. About 16000 runners start at Nishikyogoku Athletic Park, run through Arashiyama, Kinukake-no-michi road, along the Kamo River to the finish in front of Heian-jingu Shrine. Located along the course are the seven UNESCO world cultural heritage sites of Ninna-ji Temple, Ryoan-ji Temple and others or the view of the five mountains that are the focus of the Gozan no Okuribi festival. This is the course where you can enjoy the charming points of famous cultural heritage. Although participating at this marathon is not possible anymore you can enjoy to watch it. On February16 & 17, “Okoshiyasu Hiroba” is held at Miyakomesse (Kyoto international exhibition hall)  for free of charge. You can enjoy stalls of sponsors, many food stalls from famous restaurants or a tea ceremony. This event is not only for the runner!

Schedule

Sunday, February 18.2018

Wheelchair race start at  8:55 A.M.

Marathon and pair-Ekiden start at 9:00A.M.

Access & address

・Place

Start at Nishikyogoku Athletic Park

Finish in front of Heian-jingu Shrine

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

Heian-jingu Shrine:”Higashiyama Station” 10-minute walk

・Travel time from the terminal station of the city

Heian-jingu Shrine:From Kyoto Station about40minutes by bus

・Address Heian-jingu Shrine: Okazakinishitenno-cho Sakyo-ku Kyoto

・Map

Admission & reservation

Visit free

No reservation required

Official website

http://www.kyoto-marathon.com/

An experience full of traditional culture and events to learn more about Japanese history

6. Shunju-za. “ Noh to Kyogen”  February 3rd 2018


Source: roombank.

A popular annual event Noh/ Kyogen at Kyoto art theater” Shunju-za” which is located in Kyoto university of art & design. In 2018, Kyogen ”Kiyomizu zato” and Noh performances under the title of “Miwa/hakushiki kamikagura”.. Performers are Tetsunojo Kanze, Mansaku Numura, Mansai Nomura, Kurouemon Katayama and others. Noh and kyogen are Japanese traditional performances with 700 years of history. By this it might be difficult to understand, it’s not belonging to Japans’ common culture. Noh and Kyogen are performing arts with long history with full expressive emotions of human.

Let’s have a watch!

Schedule

Saturday February 3rd 2018  14:00
Pre-talk 14:00

Access & address

・Place

Kyoto art theater Shunju-za (In Kyoto university of art & design)

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

Bus stop “Kamihate-cho Kyoto zokeigeidai( university of art & design )mae” nearby

・Travel time from the terminal station of the city

From Kyoto Station about 50 minutes by bus

・Address 2-116 Uryuyama Kitashirakawa sakyo-ku Kyoto

In Kyoto university of art & design

・Map

Admission & reservation

Admission / All Seats Reserved

Seat location S : 7000 yen

Seat location A: 6000 yen / students & youth (25 years old and under) 2500 yen

※For students & youth , please show your ID for age identification

Official website

http://www.k-pac.org/

Food Event

7. Bring good luck “Hatsuuma daiko daki”


Source: flickr

Daiko daki (cooked long white radish for the worshipers and to serve for the Buddha)    is held every year in February on the first Day of the Horse (by old lunar calendar) at Sanzen-in temple, square in front of the Konjiki-Fudo do (Golden Acalanatha hall). This purpose of this event is to eat hot cooked daikon at the village Ohara- no- sato during winter and pray for good health and good luck. Daikon which grows in Ohara is popular and delicious. Ohara is surrounded by mountains and a quiet place. It’s a well-known mountain village to live secular life for nobleman, shaman and poets. Let’s visit here and learn some history and feel the flow of the past.

Schedule

Friday February 9  –  Monday February 12

9:00 – 16:30(closed at 17:00)

Access & address

・Place

Sanzen-in temple  Square in front of the Konjiki-Fudo do (Golden Acalanatha hall)

・Nearest station and travel time from the station

Kyoto bus, from bus stop Ohara 10-minute walk

・Travel time from the terminal station of the city

From Kyoto Station about 1hour by bus

・Address 540 Ohararaikoincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto

・Map

Admission & reservation

Admission 700yen

No reservation required

Official website

http://www.sanzenin.or.jp/event/detail/70

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About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.