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Six Senses Kyoto

When to visit

Discover the best time to visit Kyoto. Enjoy every season and immerse in its beauty.

    • New Year’s is the most festive period on the Japanese calendar. It starts with Sacred New Year’s Bell Ringing or Joya-no-kane on New Year’s Eve at temples across the city. During the first three days of the New Year, locals visit their local shrine to say a prayer and you can join in this tradition at Toyokuni Shrine, adjacent to Six Senses Kyoto. The weather in Kyoto is cold between December and early March. In the event of snowfall, you can capture a picturesque photo of serene gardens and temples of Kyoto under a blanket of fluffy snow.

    • The period between February and the cherry blossoms blooming in late March is actually the least crowded season in Kyoto. From then until mid-April, visitors flock to see the cherry blossoms, when the ephemeral sakura are at their peak. The flowers may be blooming but it will still be colder in the mornings and after dusk.

    • Summer is the season of festivals in Japan, and June is just the start of the fun. June in Kyoto is known as the beginning of the rainy season (tsuyu), when water lilies and hydrangeas bloom. The hottest months in Kyoto are July and August. The highlight of July is the Gion Festival, with various rituals, performances, and exhibitions held throughout the month. August welcomes the Obon festival, which honors the spirits of the departed. Buddhist rituals and lantern festivities take place, along with the famous Gozan Okuribi signal fires on Kyoto mountaintops. This is also the month for fireworks and yukata, and spending your nights by the cool rivers.

    • In September, the moon is at its brightest and many temples and shrines hold a Full Moon viewing. Temperatures cool in October and November, when Ko-yo season in full swing. Gardens and mountains in and around Kyoto are covered in bright shades of orange, red, and yellow as the maple leaves change colors. Also, there are a number of local harvest festivals.

    • Once December comes round it’s time for Japan’s version of “spring cleaning” as people prepare for trips to their hometowns for the New Year. Piping hot winter comfort foods like nabe will keep you warm, and if you’re lucky you might see some snow! One thing you’re guaranteed to see is illuminations, with lights twinkling in the night at some of the most famous spots in Kyoto. Be advised that many businesses and tourist-siters close between January 1 and 3, so it’s a time to slow down and enjoy the New Year’s temple bells ringing or try hatsumōde, the first shrine/temple visit of the year.

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