The hot, hot summer has passed and Kyoto is heading into fall. The leaves on the trees have started to change colors and October is one of the biggest tourist seasons for Kyoto, second only to cherry blossom season in April. If you are planning to visit Kyoto in October, this blog is especially for you. We will tell you what to expect weather wise and about the many fall events that will be taking place in Kyoto. Naturally there are many things kids can enjoy as well, so chat with your family and make your Kyoto travel plans together.
Weather and What to Wear in Kyoto in October
Weather and Temperature in Kyoto in October
After the hot summer months have passed, October in Kyoto is very comfortable weather wise. It’s not too hot and not too cold, pretty much the perfect time for traveling to Kyoto. The average temperatures for Kyoto in October range from a high of 23℃ (73°F) to a low of 13℃ (55°F). It is a comfortable temperature even for kids running around and playing. You also shouldn’t have to worry about rain as the yearly average rainfall for Kyoto in October is only about 7 days. You are almost guaranteed to be able to enjoy clear fall days. October truly is quite a good time to visit Kyoto.
What to Wear in Kyoto in October
What is the best attire for Kyoto in October? 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. You can wear long sleeved t-shirts and pack a light jacket in your bag. The mornings and evenings are a bit chilly, but if you have a jacket you will be okay. Be sure to also bring clothes for your kids which you can choose depending on the day’s weather.
Events in Kyoto in October
Kurama no Hi Matsuri (Kurama Fire Festival)
Kurama Fire Festival is one of Kyoto’s big three great festivals. Many homes along the path of the parade light torches in front of their houses at dusk and there is a parade of hundreds of participants carrying burning torches. It is sure to be one of the brightest and probably hottest festivals you can see! However this festival is a bit dangerous for children, so if you would like to go there, please use our babysitting service!
Adress：Yuki-jinja Shrine（Kyoto-shi Sakyo Ward Kurama Honmachi 1073)
Date: October, 22, 2019
Hana no Tenjo (Flower Ceiling) Special Viewing for Fall
At Hiraoka Hachimangu in the main hall, the ceiling has 44 different paintings of flowers, painted in the Edo Period. It is open for public viewing only a couple of times a year and October is one of them!
Adress: Hiraoka Hachimangu (Kyoto-shi Ukyo Ward Umegahata Miyanokuchi-cho 23)
Dates: September 13 – December 1, 2019
One of Kyoto’s great three festivals, locals dressed in ancient costumes parade from the Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine. Every year there are many spectators lined up to see the parade.
Adress:Heian Shrine (97 Nishitenno-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku;)
Date: October 26, 2019
Toji Temple Nighttime Viewing
Toji Temple is the oldest temple from the Heian Era. From October the temple has special nighttime hours and will be lit up. You can enjoy seeing the fall colored leaves with the symbol of Toji, the five storied pagoda in the background.
Adress: Toji Temple (Kyoto-shi Minami Ward Kujo-cho 1)
Dates: October 26 – December 8, 2019
Shogoin Temple Special Fall Exhibition
You can see wall paintings as well as important cultural properties during this special viewing time.
Adress: Shogoin Temple (Kyoto-shi Sakyo Ward Shogoin Nakamachi 15)
Dates: September 21 – December 18, 2019
At this festival you will see things decorated with Zuiki (the stem of a plant called taro) and other foods. It is a festival to show thanks for the year’s rich harvest.
Place: Kitano Tenmangu (Kyoto-shi Kamigyo Ward Bakuro-cho)
Dates: October 1-5, 2019
Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) Special Fall Exhibition
You will be able to see buildings such as the main hall, the Togu-do which is considered a national treasure, and other places. Please note, you must sign up for a tour once you arrive at Ginkakuji.Tour guides will lead you on a tour which takes about 30 minutes. Tours may only be in Japanese, but just being able to see these buildings is a rare treat!
Adress: Ginkakuji (official name Jisho-ji) (Kyoto-shi Sakyo Ward Ginkakuji-cho 2)
Dates: October 1 – December 1, 2019
Kasuga Festival is one of the best, lively festivals you can see within the Kyoto city limits. It is a festival to pray for good health and a rich harvest. There are always a lot of great food stalls and game stands, definitely something every family member can enjoy.
Adress: Saiin Kasuga Shrine (Kyoto-shi Ukyo Ward Saiin Kasuga-cho 61)
Dates: October 12-13, 2019
Horseback archery has been around since Japan’s ancient times. In this event participants aim for their opponents while riding a horse. It takes a lot of skill and you are sure to be impressed with what you see.
Adress: Kamigamo Shrine (Kyoto-shi Kita Ward Kamigamo Motoyama 339)
Date: October 20, 2019
Japanese Maple Viewing at Kitano Tenmangu
The autumn maple garden has around 350 Japanese maple trees including trees aged 350 – 400 years old.
Adress: Kitano Tenmangu (Kyoto-shi Kamigyo Ward Bakuro-cho)
Dates: October 25 – December 8, 2019
Things to Be Careful of When Visiting Kyoto in October
October is one of Kyoto’s busiest travel seasons. It is even livelier than usual with travelers coming to see the fall colored leaves and various festivals. You are sure to run into crowds at stations and in the city center. Also, because it is a popular time to travel to Kyoto, hotels are often fully booked several weeks in advance, so it’s best to book as early as possible.As it is such a busy season it’s best to have a travel plan, especially if you are visiting with kids.
Big Difference in High and Low Temperatures
October in Kyoto is a comfortable time of year, but there can be up to a 10℃ (50°F ) difference in temperatures from the middle of the day to early morning or night. It can be easy to get sick when the temperatures fluctuate so much, so please be sure to take care of yourself. Be sure to bring enough clothes for different temperatures for kids. In order to make sure you can make many great memories during your trip, be sure to take proper precautions not to get sick!