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What to Do in Kyoto During Summer 2023

If you are wondering what to do in Kyoto during summer, we compiled a list of the top things to do in Kyoto in summer.

Kyoto is surrounded by mountains, hence summer months can get really hot and humid. Nevertheless, Kyoto has quite a few destinations perfect for the hot and humid summer months.

Is Kyoto Nice in Summer?

Overall, Kyoto is nice during the summer months. The average high temperature in Kyoto is 28°C (82.4°F) in June, 32°C (89.6°F) in July, and 33°C (91.4°F) in August. Yes, summer in Kyoto is quite hot and humid. If you are someone who does not enjoy high temperatures, you might easily feel discomfort brought on by the heat. However, if you are used to sunny days, it should not be a problem at all.

What Is Kyoto Like in Summer?

Kyoto is hot and humid in the summer, especially around July and August. Frequent rains can be expected for about 11 days in June, 12 days in July, and 8 days in August. As you approach the end of summer, expect that the average temperature will fall down. Nevertheless, summer in Kyoto is still bearable.

5 Things to Do in Kyoto in Summer

From mountains to the seaside to rivers, Kyoto has some go-to tourist spots during summer. Here are some of them:

1. Join Gion Matsuri at Yasaka Shrine

One of the most popular summer festivals in Japan, Gion Matsuri is celebrated at Yasaka Shrine. Gion Matsuri dates back to 869 as a religious event to please the gods in hopes of preventing an epidemic. The festival takes place in early July but is celebrated throughout the month where various rituals and events are held. The center of the event is the Yamaboko Junko (parade of floats) happens on July 17. In the evening, the procession of mikoshi (portable shrines) takes place where the shrines are carried by local men on their shoulders. Yamaboko Junko is one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

2. Visit the river terrace at Kifune Shrine

Famous for its river terrace, which occurs only from May to September, visiting Kibune is one of the top things to do in Kyoto in summer. This small town is home to Kifune Shrine, the main shrine of about 500 Kifune shrines across Japan. Kifune Shrine is dedicated to the god of water, considered to be a source of energy and power. You can chill and have lunch beside the river, enjoying the colder temperature of Kibune while surrounded by lush green forest.

3. Celebrate Mitarashi Festival at Shimogamo Shrine

One of Kyoto’s main shrines, Shimogamo Shrine is a world heritage site where the Mitarashi Festival takes place in summer. Festival goers wish to have a disease-free life as their light candles and immerse their feet in Mitarashi Pond. The shrine’s vast Tadasu-no-Mori forest is believed to have grown since the 3rd century B.C., boasting over 40 tree species—about 600 are 200-600 years old.

4. Stroll along Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

If you don’t want to go far from Kyoto City, head to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest to get some fresh air. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto including the nearby Togetsukyo Bridge where you get a scenic backdrop of the mountains. The forest with over a thousand bamboo grows up to 400 meters from Nonomiya Shrine, through the north side of Tenryu-ji Temple, and on to Okochi Sanso Garden.

5. Take an exciting boat ride along the Hozugawa River

Running from Kameoka City to Arashiyama and the Togetsu Bridge in Kyoto, the Hozugawa River hosts boat rides on its 16 kilometers stretch. The boats can accommodate up to 24 people, including the crew to help navigate the boat through the torrents and huge rocks of the river. If you want less adventure, take the Sagano Romantic Train that connects Kameoka and Sagano and runs along the river.

Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.

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