Event Calender for Kyoto January 2016

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine

Hatsumode (First Shrine Visit of the New Year) at Various Shrines — January 1st –

In Japan, there is a tradition called Hatsumode during the New Year Holidays. People go to a shrine to make a wish for the new year. And Kyoto is the best place to do that, considering the countless number of shrines that exist. Shrines are believed to have specific benefits to make a wish for. It is different from shrine to shrine. And many of them have several benefits. The following is the list of 3 exceptionally popular shrines with the benefit they represent. Note that they are very very busy.

Fushimi Inari Shrine – Business

Yasaka Shrine — Prevent Sickness & Problems

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine — Study

Karuta Hajime at Yasaka Shrine — January 3rd

Karuta is a traditional card game, where participants compete for speed in finding the correct card. A reader has cards where a poem are written, and players will have to find the corresponding card and touch it sooner than other players do. There are 46 pairs of cards, and person who get the most wins the game. Karuta Hajime (the first Karuta game) will be held at Yasaka Shrine, and two female players wearing traditional costumes will compete. 13:00 –

Yasaka Shrine

Kemari Hajime at Shimogamo Shrine — January 4th

Kemari is a traditional game of ball-lifting without using hands. At Shimogamo Shrine on January 4th, several players wearing traditional aristocrat costumes will show their skills to the audience. The shrine prepares limited special seats with a brochure (2000 yen), but it is possible to watch it for free. 13:30 –

Shimogamo Shrine

5 Story Pagoda Special Opening at Toji Temple — January – March 18th

Toji Temple will enable visitors to see the inside of its 5 story pagoda during the limited time. This pagoda is the highest 5 story pagoda in Japan (55 meter/180 ft). The inside of the first floor will be open, where esoteric Buddhism is portrayed with statues and decorations. Toji Temple is specified as a World Heritage Site. 8:30 – 16:30 (Last Entry 16:00)


For more fun and useful information which will make your Kyoto Travel more memorable, exciting and stress-free, check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.

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