Kyoto Event You should not Miss in Winter 2018


Arashiyama Hana Toro 2018

It it the even’s 14th year to hold Arashiyama Arashiyama Hana Toro. You can enjoy light up of Chikurin no comichi, the bamboo forest, the mountain and exhibition of flower arrangement works.
The atmosphere in the evening feels very different from how it is in Arashiyama district and you can fully enjoy the strolling around the street with warm color lights.
URL / Event Date 2018.12.8-12.17 / Time 17: 00-20: 30 / free / Location

Kyoto Station Building Illumination

Illumination is decorated in every part of the station building including the 22 meters high Christmas tree.
In addition, you can find the decoration throughout the station such as station building garden, East Plaza, station square.
URL / Event Date 2018.11.17-12.25 / Time 17: 00-22: 30 / free / Location

Yasaka Shrine Okera Mairi

This is known as a traditional New Year’s Eve tradition. Transfer the fire from the lamp lantern located in the precincts of Yasaka Shrine to the special rope and take it home while trying fire species will not put out. The event starts at 19:30 on New Year’s Eve and last until 5:00 in the morning next day.
You will find a lot of street food stalls and it fells like a festival. Recommended to visit the shrine for the New Year’s visit.
URL / Event Date / 2018.12.31-2019.1.1 / Time 19: 30-5: 00 / free / Location

Heian Shrine New Years Eve

In the all-night light event held on New Year’s Eve, the light of the lantern hanging under the eaves of the shrine gently illuminates the precincts. From 6 o’clock, in the morning of New Year’s Day, one of the New Year’s Annual Events, will be held and the dance “Urayasu no Mai” by priestesses will be dedicated.
URL / Event Date 2018.12.31-2019.1.1 / free / Location

Chion-in Temple Koyano kane – countdown bell

It is famous for its distinctive performance that the bells of Chion-in, with a diameter of 2.8 m, a height of 3.3 m, and a weight of 70 t, a total of 17 monks ring the huge bell together.
Chion-in Temple once close the general attendance at 16 o’clock on of New Year’s Eve and open the gate again at 20 o’clock. Monks ring the bell once a minute from around 22:40, and do it 108 times in total. ( takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes!) You can feel how the year ends quietly in Japan in a traditional way.
URL / Event Date 2018.12.31 / Time from 20: 00 / free / Location


Looking for things to do during New Year’s Holiday time?

Join us on a Kyoto Insider Sake Experience tour. We are open on New Years Holiday Season. You’ll get to try and learn about the secrets of sake and a lot of Kyoto culture!


  1. yamazaki12
  2. gokonomiya
  3. kyoto

Our Sake Tour Reviews

  • star rating  Hashimoto-san showed me around in the old traditional Sake making district Fushimi and explained me a lot about the Sake making process. I could also visit a bar where I... read more

  • star rating  This is a must-do experience in Kyoto. The best part of the tour is that while there is tasting, there is also so much history and knowledge you acquire along... read more

    Crystal M
  • star rating  This is the must-do-tour in your life if you are interested in Japanese sake and culture. I am Japanese. And always I wonder about Japanese sake cuz I’ve never met... read more

  • star rating  Had a blast! Would absolutely recommend to people looking for a Sake Tasting experience in Kyoto (Kyoto Fushimi Sake District - the traditional Sake brewery district). Kotaro and the staff... read more

  • star rating  I recommend this tour for those that skeptical about sake. Our guide, Kotaro, was a great host and he was very professional and knowledgeable. We had a great evening and... read more

  • star rating  I booked this tour during their slow season and the beginning stages of Covid-19 so I ended up being the only person on the tour. It was fantastic! My guide... read more

  • star rating  Awesome tour! I'm not a sake drinker (always thought I hate it), but I couldn't leave Japan without tasting some of it, obviously and I'm so glad I joined this... read more

  • star rating  Kotaro and Mayo were very informative about the processes of making sake and the different types of sake. It was very interesting to do the tasting session and see how... read more

  • star rating  So very glad I chose this tour. I had no knowledge of the creative process required for sake production. Kotaro painstakingly walked us through the entire “brewing” procedure and the... read more

  • star rating  The Sake experience in Kyoto gave us the perfect Chance to learn everything we wanted to know about Sake. Our Host Kotaro was very friendly, answering all of our questions.... read more