As the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto always attracts tourists because of its tranquility tinged with time, long-standing architectural works, magnificent temples and Shinto shrines, UNESCO heritage sites rich history and traditional culture from ancient times. Surely each visitor will have their own choice about when to visit the ancient capital of Kyoto. So, when to visit Kyoto, when is the best time to visit Kyoto? Let’s check out our suggested the worst, cheapest, affordable and best season to visit Kyoto and best time to go to Kyoto, best time to travel to Kyoto as follows!

Higashiyama District, Kyoto | when is the best time to visit kyoto
| when is the best time to visit kyoto
Kyoto tea ceremony | when is the best time to visit kyoto
Spring Dances by Geiko & Maiko (c) | when is the best time to visit kyoto

When you set foot in Kyoto, you feel like you are returning to ancient Japan. There are no massive skyscrapers or high-rise buildings but instead the ancient capital of Kyoto has a rustic, tranquil, peaceful and poetic appearance.

Where is Kyoto?

Kyoto location on the Japan map | when is the best time to visit kyoto

Kyoto is located on Honshu Island, Japan’s largest island, about 500km from Tokyo. The ancient capital of Kyoto was the capital of Japan, so more than half of the temples, shrines, pagodas and castles, mansions are concentrated here and are still maintained and preserved quite well.

Tourists in Kyoto | when is the best time to visit kyoto
gion district geisha kyoto (1)
Gion District | when is the best time to visit kyoto

Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan with a history of thousands of years, and was also the seat of the Japanese emperors from 794 to 1868. Therefore, the most beautiful cultural values and ancient architecture are concentrated in this city. If you come to Japan without visiting Kyoto, it is a big mistake.

| when is the best time to visit kyoto
| when is the best time to visit kyoto

Climate and weather in Kyoto (# when is the best time to visit kyoto)

Kyoto Ancient city
Kyoto Ancient city | when is the best time to visit kyoto

In terms of terrain, Kyoto is surrounded in three sides by Mount Higashiyama, Mount Kitayama and Mount Nishiyama with each mountain about 1,000 m above sea level. Therefore, it also affects the climate and weather in Kyoto. In general, Kyoto has a humid subtropical climate with clear changes in each season in temperature and rainfall. Summers are hot and humid and winters are relatively cold, with occasional snowfall. In Kyoto, starting around mid-June and lasting until the end of July, there are frequent rains, and in September and October, there will be storms.

| when is the best time to visit kyoto
| when is the best time to visit kyoto

Kyoto city is covered on all four sides by forests and mountains, so the air here is humid all year round, making summers hot and winters cold and snowy, but the air is very fresh and pleasant.

Which is the best season to visit Kyoto? (# when to visit kyoto)

Ryoan-ji Temple garden kyoto (1)
| when is the best time to visit kyoto

To know which season is the best to go to Kyoto, you can look at the characteristics of each season in Kyoto below.

Spring (March – May)

Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine covered in pink cherry blossom season | when is the best time to visit kyoto

Known as the land of cherry blossoms, no one knows that spring everywhere in Japan is the cherry blossom season. That is also the time when most tourists visit to admire that poetic natural picture. Coming to Kyoto in spring, visitors will feel the cool, fresh and comfortable atmosphere. Not only cherry blossoms, but these months are also when many other flowers come to life. Visitors will see ancient buildings in Kyoto adorned with the vibrant colors of Spring.

Daikakuj, Arashiyama, Kyoto | when is the best time to visit kyoto
| when is the best time to visit kyoto
| when is the best time to visit kyoto

In spring, the weather is extremely cool, but in the early morning and late evening it is still quite cold, only 9 – 11 degrees Celsius, so you need to prepare clothes to keep your body warm. This time is very suitable for spring travel, going to temples and watching cherry blossoms.

| when is the best time to visit kyoto

Summer (June – August) (# best time to travel to kyoto)

In Kyoto during the summer months, the temperature is quite hot, sometimes reaching up to 34°C. Therefore, tourists rarely visit Kyoto at this time. However, summer is the season of festivals for the Japanese people. There are many extremely majestic and bustling festivals and events taking place in Kyoto at this time. Therefore, if you are a lover of local culture, customs and traditions, you can visit Kyoto during these exciting holidays.

Sweet dessert with matcha tea at Motoan, Kyoto | when is the best time to visit kyoto
Gion Festival, Kyoto
The 23 amazing giant floats of Gion Festival, Kyoto | when is the best time to visit kyoto

Temperatures in the summer are quite hot and can reach over 34 degrees Celsius and there is a lot of rain. If you can’t stand the hot and uncomfortable weather, you should not go during this time.

Kiyomizu Dera Temple, Kyoto
Kiyomizu Dera Temple, Kyoto | best season to visit kyoto

Fall (September – November) (# when is the best time to visit kyoto)

Boat riding on Hozu-gawa river, Kyoto.
Boat riding on Hozu-gawa river, Kyoto. | best season to visit kyoto

This is probably the answer many people choose when asked which is the best season to travel to Kyoto. Because the fall is the time when the foliage begins to turn its characteristic red, orange and yellow colors. Walking on the streets, street corners in Kyoto or around temples, visitors can easily see surprisingly beautiful poetic paintings. The autumn weather is extremely cool and a bit chilly, so it is very suitable for exploration and sightseeing trips in Kyoto.

Daigo-Ji Temple2
Daigo-Ji Temple | best season to visit kyoto
Couple in kimono at Arashiyama bamboo grove, Kyoto
A couple in kimono at Arashiyama bamboo forests, Kyoto | best season to visit kyoto

Perhaps the ancient capital of Kyoto is most beautiful in the fall. Around this time, the whole of Kyoto is dressed in yellow and red as the leaves change color before winter. To fully see the beauty of Kyoto, you should visit Eikando Temple, where about 3,000 red-leaf trees create typical colors Kyoto.

Fall colors at Nanzenji Temple, Kyoto | best season to visit kyoto

Winter (December – February) (# best time to travel to kyoto)

Like many other cities in Japan, Kyoto’s winter is when white snow covers the landscape here. The weather is cold, the temperature drops sharply, sometimes down to -10°C. Therefore, visitors need to prepare thick, warm clothes and remember to equip wool hats, gloves, boots, thermal patches, etc. Even though it is cold, many tourists still want to go to Kyoto in the winter to see snowfall with their own eyes, participate in some local year-end festivals and winter activities such as skiing, ice skating,…

kinkakuji temple garden kyoto (1)
Kinkakuji (Golden temple) in winter | best season to visit kyoto

In contrast to autumn, Kyoto changes itself with a layer of pure white covered by a thick layer of snow. Although the weather is a bit harsh, the temperature can drop below 0 degrees Celsius, you should also visit the ancient capital to experience extremely interesting festivals such as Fudehajimesai Festival Fude-Hajime-sai Festival (First calligraphy of the year), Kemari Hajime festival (Kyoto’s Ball Game) and Toka Ebisu festival.

Kifune shrine | best season to visit kyoto

Which is the best month to visit Kyoto?

geisha in kyoto
A geisha walking on street in Gion district, Kyoto. | best season to visit kyoto

You probably already know basic information and some characteristics about the seasons of the year in Kyoto. But to be more detailed and clearer, we should learn about each month of the year, what the specific temperature is, etc. Based on it, it will be easier for you to decide when to go to Kyoto, which season and which month is the best time to visit Kyoto, right?


  • Highest average temperature: 8°C
  • Lowest average temperature: -1°C
Kyoto in winter | best season to visit kyoto

This is the month that begins a new year, so visitors can experience the Hatsumode ritual (the first prayer ritual of the year at a temple or shrine) taking place at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Kyoto. January is also the coldest time of the year, snow falls continuously for many days, so the streets are quite slippery. Visitors should prepare thick clothes, jackets, wool hats, gloves,… and waterproof, anti-slip shoes.


  • Highest average temperature: 9°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 0°C
| best season to visit kyoto

In February in Kyoto, the weather is still quite cold, so remember to bring warm clothes and items such as coats, gloves or scarves. Plum flowers also begin to bloom around mid-February – a signal that spring is coming. Not only sightseeing and sightseeing, visitors also remember to enjoy Kyoto’s February specialties such as sweet Uguisu-mochi cake.


  • Highest average temperature: 12°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 1°C
| best season to visit kyoto

This is the time when many people look forward to admiring the pink color of the beautiful and fragile cherry blossoms. The weather is gradually getting warmer, but in the morning and evening the temperature will drop. Visitors should still bring a jacket to keep their body warm when walking outside. March is not only the time for cherry blossoms but also the time when plum blossoms begin to bloom. This makes us feel that Spring has truly come.

| best season to visit kyoto
| best time to travel to kyoto
| best time to travel to kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 19°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 7°C
April is till the cherry blossom season | best time to travel to kyoto

In April, the climate has become warm and cool, so visitors can choose comfortable clothes to go out and sightseeing. Early April is also the time when cherry blossoms in Kyoto bloom, so visitors will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful natural picture in this ancient capital of Japan. Therefore, if you want to know when to go to Kyoto to see cherry blossoms, the ideal time is the end of March to the beginning of April.

| best time to travel to kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 23°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 11°C

May is the time when the weather in the city area will be hotter, signaling the beginning of summer. This is also the time when trees grow the fastest of the year, so a trip to the outskirts of Kyoto city will be extremely suitable for visitors to enjoy the fresh air and admire the green natural scenery. In May, there is also an extremely vibrant Aoi festival for Kyoto people.

| best time to travel to kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 27°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 16°C

This is the start of the rainy season in Kyoto. High temperature and humidity keep the air humid all day. Because it can rain at any time, visitors should remember to bring umbrellas and thin raincoats with them when sightseeing and walking around Kyoto. Besides, the humid climate is also a suitable time for hydrangeas to bloom, so visitors will have the opportunity to see the hydrangea garden if they visit Kyoto in June.

Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan with rich in both history and culture | best time to travel to kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 31°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 21°C

It can be said that July is the hottest time of the year in Kyoto. Temperatures can reach above 30°C and last continuously for many days with high humidity. Therefore, keeping the body hydrated is extremely important. You should prepare sun protection items such as hats, sunglasses and apply sunscreen carefully to protect your skin. Gion Festival – is a famous summer festival in Kyoto also held this July.

| best time to travel to kyoto

August (# when to visit kyoto)

  • Highest average temperature: 32°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 22°C

Along with July, August days in Kyoto are also very hot and muggy. There are days when it’s hot and there’s no wind, so you’ll feel uncomfortable. Therefore, tourists should choose attractions in suburban areas to have more airy and cooler spaces. In addition, the people of Kyoto also make some cooling dishes on hot days in August that visitors should try, which is the cool Mizu Manju.

| when to visit kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 28°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 18°C

In September, the climate becomes much more pleasant. During the day, the weather is extremely cool, so tourists can freely go out and visit famous sights in Kyoto. When night falls, sometimes a cold wind blows, so remember to bring a light jacket if needed. Also, don’t forget to monitor the weather forecast because this is also the time when Kyoto often experiences storms.

Kyoto’s kitchen, Nishiki market | when to visit kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 22°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 11°C

It’s autumn, so the weather is also colder and becoming drier, so visitors should be careful to prepare warm clothes to avoid colds. The last days of October are also the time when the leaves begin to change color, creating extremely attractive yellow and red colors. Kyoto residents also celebrate the Jidai Festival – a festival with parades of figures representing each period in Japanese history, starting from Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) to Heian Shrine (Heian Shrine).

Kyoto Japan
Heian Shrine | when to visit kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 16°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 5°C

Tourists who want to see Japan’s autumn colors with their own eyes should visit Kyoto in November. Temperatures will continue to drop so it will be colder than October, so you may need thick coats to keep warm. Because this is the most ideal time to see yellow and red leaves, the number of tourists is also much more crowded.

Kiyomizu-Dera Temple2
Kiyomizu-Dera Temple in Autumn | when to visit kyoto


  • Highest average temperature: 11°C
  • Lowest average temperature: 0°C

Winter begins, so December days will gradually get colder. Don’t forget to bring a coat, wool hat and gloves. If you’re lucky, you will have the opportunity to see autumn leaves and falling snow at the same time when visiting Kyoto in the early days of December. As for the last days of the year, the Kyoto street scene is also bustling with people. some festival days.

Kyoto matcha | when to visit kyoto

Kyoto’s famous festivals and events

Not only the weather or climate, but festivals and events are also one of the factors that influence many tourists’ thoughts on when choose the good time to visit Kyoto. Because it is an ancient capital, Kyoto still retains many of the long-standing traditional beauty of the Japanese people. Therefore, if you are a person who loves exploring culture and wants to learn more about local customs and traditions, don’t miss the following popular festivals in Kyoto.

Toka Ebisu Festival (January 8 – January 12): is one of the most popular festivals in Kyoto held at Ebisu Jinja Shrine. According to local beliefs, Ebisu-san is one of the Shichifukujin – “seven gods of luck” in Japanese mythology. Therefore, visitors can visit this temple to pray for good things and luck in the new year.

| when to visit kyoto

Aoi Matsuri Festival (May 15): this is also one of the most famous festivals in Kyoto. The festival originated in the Heian period, a time when nobility flourished in Japan. To recreate this period, during the ceremony there will be a parade of more than 500 people wearing beautiful costumes, receiving the emperor’s decree and bringing offerings to Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine.

Aoi Matsuri in Kyoto-the world's oldest festival
Aoi Matsuri in Kyoto-the world’s oldest festival | when to visit kyoto
Kyoto, Japan
Aoi Matsuri | when to visit kyoto

Gion Festival (July 1 – July 31): is a festival held in Kyoto every year with a history of more than 1,000 years, and is a characteristic feature when referring to summer in Kyoto. Visitors will be impressed with the parade of Yamaboko floats – one of the Dashi floats used in Japanese temple festivals. These floats are all splendidly decorated with many unique themes based on myths or ancient legends of the land of the rising sun. There are also many other activities taking place throughout July.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival,fukuoka travel blog (1)
Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival

Gozan no Okuribi Festival (August 16): this is also a popular festival in Kyoto that takes place in the summer. During this traditional holiday, Kyoto people will light fires on five sacred mountains called Gozan with the belief that these fires will send their lost relatives back to the world of Yama. The image of the inner Toriigata shrine gate is made up of 108 fire stations, and is also said to be the most beautiful image on the night of the Gozan no Okuribi festival in Kyoto.

Jidai Matsuri Festival (October 22): is a typical festival in Kyoto, recreating the prosperity and development of Emperor Kanmu and Emperor Komei. Visitors will witness an extremely majestic parade with the participation of all ages, wearing traditional costumes from feudal Japan.

Kyoto, Japan
Jidai Matsuri Festival

When is the best time to travel to Kyoto?

With the information in the above article, do you have the answer to the question of when to visit Kyoto? There will be many choices depending on each visitor’s preferences, time and purpose. For example, those who want to see cherry blossoms or autumn’s yellow and red leaves will choose the Spring (March – May) or Fall (September – November) months to go to Kyoto as the best. But because it is also the peak season, it will be crowded with people and services will also have higher prices.

Therefore, those who want to save money or want to explore the ancient capital of Kyoto through vibrant traditional festivals can go in the summer months. For those of you who like cool atmosphere and enjoy watching the white snow scene, then winter (December-February) will be suitable for you.

boat riding on Arashiyama kyoto 3
Boat riding on Hozu-gawa river, Kyoto.

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Kyoto you can refer to

Arashiyama Bamboo momiji bridge
Arashiyama Bamboo momiji bridge. Credit: Kyoto travel blog.

Are you finding more top things to do in Kyoto: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out at here. And read more: Kyoto blog (Kyoto travel blog) — The fullest Kyoto travel guide blog for a budget trip to Kyoto, Japan for the first-timers. And Kyoto 3 day itinerary — How to visit Kyoto in 3 days & what to do in Kyoto in 3 days perfectly?