Why you should visit Kyoto in September
September is a fantastic time to visit Kyoto, as the weather starts to cool down from the summer heat, making it more comfortable for exploring the city’s beautiful outdoor attractions. The city is also less crowded compared to the peak tourist season, allowing you to experience the rich culture and history of Kyoto in a more relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, September marks the transition into autumn, bringing about breathtaking natural scenery as the leaves begin to change color.
Kyoto Weather in September
In September, Kyoto experiences pleasant weather with average temperatures ranging from 23°C (73°F) to 29°C (84°F). While there is still some humidity lingering from the summer, the chances of rainfall decrease, allowing for clearer skies and enjoyable outdoor activities. It’s advisable to pack lightweight and breathable clothing to stay comfortable while exploring the city’s attractions.
Kyoto Events in September
1. Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages)
Jidai Matsuri, held annually on October 22nd, is a historical procession that showcases Kyoto‘s rich cultural heritage. This grand parade features around 2,000 participants dressed in period costumes, representing different eras of Kyoto‘s history. The procession starts from the Imperial Palace and makes its way to Heian Shrine, where visitors can witness the diverse traditions and customs of the city.
2. Kyo no Tanabata (Kyoto Tanabata Festival)
Kyo no Tanabata offers a charming display of traditional Japanese decorations and activities during early September. Visitors can enjoy colorful Tanabata decorations adorning the streets of Kyoto, symbolizing the celestial meeting of two stars. The festival features various events, including music performances, craft workshops, and the opportunity to write wishes on Tanzaku (colorful strips of paper) and hang them on bamboo trees.
3. To-ji Temple Flea Market
The To-ji Temple hosts a monthly flea market on the 21st of every month, attracting a particularly large crowd in September. This vibrant market offers a wide array of antiques, handicrafts, and local food stalls, creating a bustling and lively atmosphere. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture, hunt for unique souvenirs, and savor delicious street food while exploring the temple grounds.
Kyoto’s top places to visit in September
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha, famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates, is especially captivating during September as the vibrant colors of the gates contrast beautifully with the greenery of the surrounding forest. The hiking trails through the torii gates offer a serene and picturesque experience, and the cooler temperatures make the trek more enjoyable.
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
Visitors can admire the breathtaking Golden Pavilion set against the backdrop of lush greenery, creating a stunning photo opportunity in September. The tranquil surroundings and cooler weather make it a delightful time to explore the temple’s magnificent architecture and serene gardens.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a must-visit destination, particularly in September when the weather is favorable for strolling through the towering bamboo stalks. The peaceful ambiance and gentle rustling of the bamboo create a tranquil atmosphere, providing a serene escape from the bustling city.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
September is an ideal time to visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace, where visitors can explore the expansive grounds and immerse themselves in the historical and cultural significance of this iconic landmark. The pleasant weather allows for leisurely walks around the meticulously maintained gardens and architectural splendor of the palace.
By following this comprehensive guide, travelers can make the most of their September visit to Kyoto, enjoying the perfect blend of favorable weather, vibrant cultural festivities, and breathtaking attractions.