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. miyama
  2. gokonomiya


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Our Sake Tour Reviews

  •   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 differences among the many types of sake created with different rices, percentages of polishing, pasteurization...More

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  •   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. I liked the variety of Sakes we got to taste and especially the food-pairing was...More

    thumb Leonferdinandcorin
  •   Very informative tour and tasting. The guide, Kotaro, spoke perfect English and was very knowledgeable. The regular museum was closed (like most of Japan at the moment) but we still managed to visit another brewery instead. The tastings were great - very different styles of...More

    thumb GreenSandwich
  •   Highly informative tour with excellent explanations behind the different types of sake. Find out which you like and how to find it in a bottle shop!

    thumb jamesh202020
  •   We had a fantastic time during our insider sake experience tour. Kotaro was very knowledgeable and friendly and made the experience very enjoyable for us. We learned the true way to enjoy sake both by itself and with food thanks to Kotaro. I would definitely...More

    thumb MrPedroB
  •   Extremely informative to finally understand the various types of sake and choose your favourite and how to combine with food. Highly recommended!

    thumb marcofP4557RC
  •   Kotaro was very knowledgeable and described the tour very well. He answered all of my questions and helped out a great deal with my understanding. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in learning about sake

    thumb Sampenna
  •   The tour included a visit to a brewery with our guide, Asahi, giving a very informed overview of how Sake is made. He was able to answer any questions we had and made it an easy process to understand. There were tastings of 3 Sakes...More

    thumb GharghurMark
  •   The many reviews saying how good this tour is are spot on: this is a very good tour. Kotaro is very knowledgeable, ready to answer questions from all, whether general, technical or historical. The info he provided, particularly with the food pairing (which was a...More

    thumb og646
  •   Totally awesome experience. Everything was made clear. Meeting point was easy to find - just a couple of hundred metres from the nearest train station. The tour itself was extremely informative and enjoyable. There was two tastings involved - one at the main Sake brewery...More

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