As Kyoto Illumination Calender suggests, Kyoto provides plenty of illumination viewing experiences for its citizens and visitors alike.
During this season, usually from the end of November to Christmas Day, Christmas Illumination is held at various places in Kyoto City. Since Christmas is a Christian tradition, temples and shrines won’t be involved. Notwithstanding, there are still some beautiful and colorful illumination events that are definitely worth checking out. Usually, it tends to be difficult to find sightseeing spots available at night, but this season can be the exception.
For people who are coming to Kyoto during this time of year, these are the four Christmas Illumination spots and their locations. As explained below, all the spots are on the subway line(s). Accordingly, if planning to see a few of them on the same day, getting One Day Subway Free Ticket will save some money. They are available at the ticket machines in the subway stations (600 yen/adult and 300 yen/child).
Kyoto Station building
Kyoto Station building prepares a gigantic Christmas tree every year. This year Kyoto station’s underground sections will be lit up as well. This will bring more reasons to not only use as a transportation hub but also “enjoy” this modern looking station.
November 5th – December 25th
17:00 – 22:30 (11:00 – 19:00 for the underground areas)
Closest station: Kyoto
Hotel Okura celebrates its 126th Anniversary this year with gorgeous Christmas Illumination. For people who will stay at the hotels around the city center, this is the easiest place to access.
End of November – December 25th
Sunset – midnight
Closest station: Kyoto Shiyakusyomae (Subway Tozai)
Kitayama Wedding Street
Kitayama Street is famous for having weddings. There are several gorgeous looking venues for weddings on this street. They are all lit up for this season. During this season 100,000 LED bulbs will light up this street. Additionally, there will be a candle event from 23rd – 25th December (paid).
December 1st – December 25th
Closest station: Matsugasaki (Subway Karasuma)
Kyoto Botanical Garden
Kyoto Botanical Garden will extend its open hours just for this season. 100,000 LED lights will brightly paint the gardens and facilities. It will open its green house garden for free, which usually require 200 yen entry fare.
December 16th – 25th
17:30 – 20:00 (Last Entry 19:30)
Fee: 200 yen
Closest station: Kitayama (Subway Karasuma)
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