EVENT

Mifune Matsuri: A Festival on the Water

Japan has numerous festivals throughout the year with many spectators, both locally and internationally. But have you ever seen a festival done on the water? This particular festival is called, “Mifune Matsuri,” which literally means “festival of three boats.” This festival is believed to have originated in 1928, but its atmosphere is that of the…

The Hills are on Fire! Kyoto’s Daimonji Festival

There are lots of summer festivals and events all around Japan, and in Kyoto especially with Kyo no Tanabata, the fireworks in nearby Otsu city and, of course, the Bon Odori just like in the rest of Japan. There is one festival however, that is unique to Kyoto and happens every August, and it’s known…

Football Lovers Check Out a Live Kyoto Sanga Game!

Even though baseball is considered the national sport of Japan, football (or soccer) is also very popular. Surprisingly, most Japanese football supporters, usually follow a team from abroad in the big leagues, such as the Premier league in the United Kingdom or La Liga in Spain. As well as supporting teams from abroad, the way…

Celebrating Kyoto’s Canal – Takasegawa Boat Festival!

Every year in September there is a small festival in Kyoto celebrating the Takasegawa canal, which runs north to south through the east of Kyoto. Takasegawa History Author’s photo The Takasegawa is an old canal running through the city, almost parallel to the Kamogawa river. Originally it was built in the Edo period as a…

See a traditional archery competition in Kyoto

Every January in Kyoto since back to the 12th century there has been a Kyudo competition – “Toh shi ya” held in the grounds of Sanjusangendo temple, one of Kyoto’s famous tourist spots. Competition History Back in the day the competition was a pretty extreme event with a range of different categories. One thing that…

Gion Matsuri, Kyoto’s Biggest and Most Lively Festival!

Every year in July the area around Shijo Karasuma in Kyoto is filled to the seams, bursting with people who’ve come to see the famous Gion matsuri, one of the biggest festivals in Japan. There are lots of events happening throughout the month but the main part of Gion matsuri revolves around Shijo street and…

Experience a Magical Midsummer Night’s Dream at Kyoto’s Star Festival

Tanabata, the Star Festival, is an annual event held all over Japan on July 7th. The story of the festival says that there are two lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, both stars, who are separated by the milky way and can only meet once a year on that day. During the festival people put up Bamboo…

Kasagake in Kyoto – Samurai Mounted Archery Festival

Every year in September at Kyoto’s Kamigamo shrine you can see the Kasagake festival. It’s a rare chance to see some this form of traditional Japanese mounted archery practised by the samurai which dates back some 800 years.   wikipedia.org/ The festival starts at 1pm but it’s best to arrive a little early if you…

Kyoto Nightlife: Gay Bars and Events

Japan is becoming increasingly open-minded about the LGBT community and is arguably very progressive compared to other Asian countries, although gay couples still cannot legally marry. In Tokyo, there is an openly gay street, 2-Chome in Shinjuku with various gay bars. There are also parades, such as the annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride, that are easily…

Gion Matsuri History

Summer can be very exciting in charming Kyoto. There isn’t a single day or night that passes without the bustle of a gala event. Despite high temperature and humidity, summer nights stand out for their refreshing breeze and lit-up verandas (Yuka in Japanese) of the restaurants along Kamo river. Mainly in July, Kyoto gets even…