August brings with it the Obon Festival, and people all over the country celebrate their ancestors as well as the summer season itself with lanterns, bonfires, and fireworks.

Due to the large number of temples in Kyoto City, it is a popular destination during the Obon period, when people traditionally believed their ancestors would return to their families for a short time.  Various religious events are held throughout the month, and classic summer events such as firework festivals light up the night.

August 1st - 15th, 2021

Kyo no Tanabata

During the first part of August you can enjoy Tanabata Star Festival illuminations and events in two separate locations, along the Kamogawa and the Horikawa rivers.

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Wares at the Gojōzaka Tōki Matsuri.
August 7th - 10th, 2021

Gojō-zaka Tōki Matsuri

The Gojō-zaka Tōki Matsuri was started back in the early Taishō era and has grown to become one of the largest pottery fairs in Japan.

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Fireworks over yatai food stalls at the 2015 Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival.
August 11th, 2020

Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival

This colorful fireworks festival is held along the Hozugawa river in Kameoka, a city over the mountains to the west of Kyoto.

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Torches flying towards a basket of tinder at the Hanase Matsu-age.
August 15th, 24th, 2021

Matsu-age Torch Lightings

A countryside event that highlights some of the traditions in the more rural areas of Japan, the Matsu-age Torch Lighting festivals are held in three outlying villages in Kyoto during the month of August.

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The famous Daimonji fire at the Arashiyama Gozan No Okurubi.
August 16th, 2021

Gozan Okuribi Ritual Fires

The Gozan Okuribi bonfires are lit on five mountainsides around Kyoto as part of arguably the most famous Obon festival in the country.

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Kamishichiken Beer Garden Fun Atmosphere
July 1st - September 5th, 2021

Kamishichiken Beer Garden

A chance to enjoy a cold beer and delicious food in the company of some of Kyoto's esteemed geiko and maiko, Kamishichiken geisha district opens their theater as the Kamishichiken Beer Garden.

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Kifune Tanabata Bamboo Lights
July 1st - August 15th, 2021

Tanabata Bamboo Decoration Light-up

Visiting shrines at night provides a totally different atmosphere than visiting during the day, and you'll find Kifune Shrine otherworldly when illuminated with traditional Tanabata décor.

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Kodai-ji King Enma Projection Mapping
July 15th - August 31st, 2021

Illustrated Night Parade of One Hundred Demons

Kōdai-ji in Higashiyama is host to a projection mapping light-up in summer, allowing you not only to explore the grounds at night, but also to enjoy an interesting Japanese yōkai (spirit/demon) themed exhibition at their "Illustrated Night Parade of One Hundred Demons" event.

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