September brings a hint of crisp coolness back into the air as the days go by, and Kyoto festivals abound to take advantage of the end of summer, highlighted by leisurely moon viewing parties.

With summer ending, Kyoto begins to wind up for the activities of the fall season that include a plethora of festivals and events.  A popular tradition during this month is moon viewing, where you can leisurely behold the beauty of the moon, often accompanied by poetry and special sweets.  Now is the time to enjoy getting out again, whether that means gardens, seasonal flowers, a river cruise, or the last days of the year’s cormorant fishing season.

Priests perform a ritual before the tatesuna at the Chōyō no Sekku at Kamigamo Jinja.
September 9th, 2018

Chōyō no Sekku

The number nine is considered to be an auspicious number by the Shinto religion, and based on that belief Kamigamo Shrine in northern Kyoto hosts the Chrysanthemum Festival (Chōyō no Sekku) on the ninth day of the ninth month.

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The dragon paraded down from the temple precincts at Seiryu-e.
September 14th - 15th, 2018


The Seiryū-e (Blue Dragon Festival) was created to honor Seiryū, one of four divine god-beasts said to guard Kyoto’s borders against encroaching misfortune and disaster.

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A statue of the young Yoshitsune in the main hall at the Yoshitsune-sai at Kurama-dera.
September 15th, 2018


The main public event of the Yoshitsune Festival is a martial arts demonstration performed on the main temple steps.

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September 21st, 2018

Kamigyō Takigi Nō

Shiramine Shrine, a small shrine in Kyoto's Kamigyō Ward, is host to the Annual Kamigyō Takigi Nō performance. Takigi nō, or "firelight nō", is performed throughout an evening on a lit open-air stage.

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A scene from
September 22nd - 24th, 2018

Hagi Matsuri

During the hagi (bush clover) season worshipers at Nashinoki Shrine near the Kyoto Imperial Palace can enjoy not only the gorgeous flowers but also a series of cultural performances.

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The setting sun at the 2014 Kangetsu no Yūbe at Daikaku-ji
September 22nd - 24th, 2018

Kangetsu no Yūbe

In Kyoto, visitors can enjoy a relaxed and cultural moon viewing reminiscent of the traditional Heian style parties, and one of the most popular of the several hosts you can choose from is Daikaku-ji temple.

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Hot wax is applied to styled hair at the Kushi Matsuri at Yasui Konpiragū.
September 24th, 2018

Kushi Matsuri

Representing hairstyles and ornamentation from the Kofun Period all the way to the present, the Kushi Matsuri parade has volunteers carrying signs distinguishing which era the women represent.

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Kodai-ji King Enma Projection Mapping
July 15th - August 31st, 2018

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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