Kyoto is visited by many tourists annually, but Kyoto in November is a special, even more lively than usual season. As it is the peak of the autumn colored leaves season, tourists come from all over to take in the vivid nature. Walking through the streets of Kyoto, colored with leaves in hues
of red and yellow, you are sure to feel refreshed both physically and mentally. If you are planning to visit Kyoto in November, what sort of attire should you bring? What should you be careful of? Besides seeing the autumn leaves, what sorts of events are taking place? We will cover all of that here!
Weather and What to Wear in Kyoto in November
Weather and Temperature in Kyoto in November
November is the best time to see the colored autumn leaves. In this season, the city is colored with fall hues and you can experience a charming atmosphere. The average temperatures for Kyoto in November range from a high of 17℃ (63°F) to a low of 7℃ (44°F). At these temperatures the air feels cool and crisp.
The average rainfall for November is just 6 days, so you can enjoy sunny autumn Kyoto days. As there isn’t a lot of rain in November, it’s a great season for walking.
What to Wear in Kyoto in November
What is the best attire for Kyoto in November? Because there is quite a difference in the high and low temperatures, it’s best to bring clothes you can easily adapt to the weather. It’s not quite as cold as winter, so thinner jackets should be enough. Especially in the mornings before sunrise and the evenings after sunset, you will most likely need a jacket. Bring thicker socks to warm yourself up from your toes. You want to be careful that you and your kids don’t catch colds while traveling.
Events in Kyoto in November
Toji Temple Treasure Hall Special Fall Exhibition
You can see around 15,000 items considered national treasures or important cultural properties at Toji Temple in the fall.
Place: Toji Temple Kyoto-shi Minami Ward Kujo-cho 1
Dates: September 20 – November 25, 2019
Shokoku-ji Temple Special Fall Exhibition
Temple treasures which you can’t normally see, will be open to the public during this time.
Address: Shukoku-ji Temple Kyoto-shi Kamigyo Ward Degawa-dori Karasuma Higashi-iri Sokokujimonzen-cho 701
Dates: September 25 – December 15
Honen-in Special Fall Exhibition
Honen-in is a temple with a thatched roof located near Ginkakuji.
Address: Kyoto-shi Sakyo Ward Shishigatani Goshonodan-cho 30
Dates: November 1-7
Gion Kaikan Gion Dance
This is an event which takes place in Kyoto’s Hanamachi in November. You can see maiko-san and geiko-san perform traditional dances.
Address: Kyoto-shi Higashiyama Ward Gion-cho Kita-gawa 323
Dates: November 1 – 10
Daikaku-ji Temple Saga Chrysanthemum Exhibition
You can see over 500 Saga chrysanthemums in yellow, white, red, and pink blooming.
Address: Kyoto-shi Ukyo Ward Saga Osawa-cho 4
Dates: November 1 – 30
Kifune Jinja Ohitaki-sai (Harvest festival)
Ritual to give thanks for water and fire, this event is also known as the Kibune Momiji-sai (momiji is Japanese maple and sai means festival)
Address: Kifune Jinja – Kyoto-shi Sakyo Ward Kurama Kibune-cho 180
Date: November 7
Arashiyam Momiji Matsuri (Maple Festival)
This is a festival to give thanks to the guardian of Arashiyama, Zaogongen. With boats floating in the river like a parade, you can see elaborately dressed characters representing the nobles of the Heian Period. Performances will take place from the boats with things like traditional instrument performances and traditional Japanese Noh and Kyogen.
Address: Near Togetsukyo Bridge – Kyoto-shi Ukyo Ward Arashiyama
Date: November 10
Ebisu Jinja Ohitaki-sai (Harvest Festival)
This is another festival to show thanks for the year’s harvest. There is a bonfire in the temple grounds and you can try nigori-shu (unfiltered sake) made from rice harvested this year.
Address: Ebisu Jinja Kyoto-shi Higashiyama Yamato-oji dori Shijo Sagaru Komatsu-cho 125
Date: November 16
Daigo-ji Temple Special Fall Exhibition
You can see autumn colored leaves lit up for night visits at Daigo-ji Temple which is associated with Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
Address: Kyoto-shi Fushimi Ward Daigo Higashi Oji-cho 22
Dates: November 16 – December 2
Kitano Tenmangu Ennichi・Tenjin-san (monthly market)
Kitano Tenmangu is lit up and there are stalls selling food, toys, etc lined up for this event.
Address: Kyoto-shi Kamigyo Ward Bakuro-cho
Date: November 25
2 Things to Be Careful of When Visiting Kyoto in November
1. Cold Temperatures at Night
Since it’s not quite winter, you can get away with wearing lighter clothing in the daytime. However, once the sun starts to go down it becomes quite chilly. Because Kyoto is in a basin, the temperature can drop quite a bit from day to night, so you will want to make sure to keep a jacket with you just in case. In one day you may experience a 20℃ (68°F) difference in temperature. It is especially hard to manage kids’ temperatures, so you may want to be prepared with things to keep them warm like scarves or stoles.
2. High Season for Seeing Autumn Leaves
November is busy with tourists coming to see the autumn leaves. People travel to Kyoto from all over Japan and around the world every year. On weekends, especially, the public transportation systems can be quite crowded. You may feel a bit uneasy about getting around with kids in such crowds. If possible, get a start on your day earlier before the crowds are out and do your best to avoid rush hours!
Even better, with Kyoto with Kids Club, a club geared toward entertaining and educating kids visiting Kyoto, or our family tours, you can avoid the crowds and have an experience you are sure to remember.