If you are in Kyoto now (December 31st), you’re probably thinking about what to do on New Year’s Eve. Not sure? Then, read “What to Do on New Year’s Eve and New Year Holidays in Kyoto” as soon as possible. As explained there, people go out in the middle of night to visit shrines to pray for the new year in Japan.
Since it is late at night and very cold, some might avoid it and visit the shrine in the morning, which is also a good idea. However, if you are willing to tough it out to welcome the new year at a shrine and pray for the new year just like many Japanese locals do, please give it a try since experiencing the culture is one of the wonderful things about traveling abroad.
Unfortunately, the transportation systems are limited. Not every bus line is available. So, if you would like to go out to a shrine late at night (later than 23:30 on New Year’s Eve), use the following information.
City Bus from Kyoto Station
To Kitano Tenmangu Shrine: Line 50
To Yasaka Shrine & Kiyomizudera Temple: Line 60
Note that if you would like to visit Yasaka Shrine, get off at Gojozaka.It doesn’t stop at Gion.
Subway Karasuma/Tozai Line
Kyoto’s two subway lines are luckily both available through the night till 5:00 AM on New Year’s Day.
To Heian Jingu Shrine: Use Tozai Line and get off at Higashiyama Station.
Both Hankyu and Keihan lines are available all night.
To Kiyomizudera Temple: Use Keihan (local, not express) and get off at Kiyomizu Gojo station.
To Shimogamo Shrine: Use Keihan and get off at Demachi Yanagi station.
To Fushimi Inari Shrine: Use Keihan (local) and get off at Fushimi Inari station. Or use JR Nara Line from Kyoto station and get off at Inari station.
To Yasaka Shrine: Use Hankyu and get off at Kawaramachi station and walk east. Or, use Keihan and get off at Gion Shijo station and walk east.
Or if you would rather read the guidebook on your Kindle e-book reader or application, then get our Kyoto e-Guidebook on Amazon instead.