Kyoto Vega Festival
This event, also known as the Vega, or Weaver, Festival is held throughout Japan on July 7th, except in Kyoto where it is held in August, reflecting the old calender. Once a year, the constellations Vega and Altair meet between the Milky Way. This has been transformed to mean that if people make a wish on this day, the wish will come true. Kyoto’s Vega Festival is a big illumination event, which is held at two different places, Kamogawa River side and Horikawa Street (near Nijo Castle). For more information and a map, check Vega Festival Illumination in Kyoto. August 2nd – 11th.
The area around Rokudo Chinnoji Temple used to be a burial place. And this area was believed to be the entrance to another world. During this season, where the souls of ancestors come back to this world, many people visit this temple to ring a big “welcoming” bell. August 7th – 10th. 6:00 – 22:00.
Gojo area and the area around Kiyomizudeara Temple are famous for having traditional pottery stores. Kiyomizu yaki pottery is high quality and a popular gift from Kyoto. During 3 days in August, this area holds an annual pottery event, where 400 pottery shops are open. In addition to Kiyomizuyaki pottery, there will be other popular local potteries coming from all over Japan. It is easy to find one-of-a-kind pottery here. August 7th – 10th. 9:00 – 22:00.
Gozan Okuribi Bonfire
Gozan Okuribi Bonfire is the biggest August event in Kyoto. This is a traditional and historical event where people send their ancestors’ spirits to another world by watching Chinese character shaped bonfires on 6 mountains in Kyoto. This is a time-sensitive event, so be sure to plan carefully. The first bonfire starts at 20:00 on Higashiyama and the last one ends at around 20:30. For more information, be sure to check this article and this one for schedule changes. August 16th 20:00 – 20:30.
Fireworks at Kyoto International Conference Center
As explained in Rare Fireworks Opportunity in Kyoto, this is the only chance to watch beautiful fireworks launched into the sky in Kyoto City. Although as a firework event it is small (10 minutes), it is nice to go out and see beautiful fireworks painting the sky. Be sure to get to the Kokusai Kaikan Station 30 minutes before the fireworks start. Kokusai Kaikan Station is the terminal for Subway Karasuma Line. There is a big park area called Takaragaike Pond, which can be a nice viewing spot. July 18th and 19th. 20:00 – 20:10.
For more fun and useful information, which will make your Kyoto Travel special, memorable and stress-free, please check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.