Go to Kyoto with a rental kimono during Golden Week! Introducing recommended spots and events in May

May is getting warmer and refreshing.
Many people may be thinking of going out to Kyoto with their family, friends, or lovers during Golden Week.

Therefore, this time we will introduce recommended spots and events in Kyoto in May.
Please use this as a reference to fully enjoy the unique atmosphere of Kyoto and the changing seasons.

*Depending on the circumstances of the event organizer and the weather on the day, the event schedule and contents may be changed at short notice. Just before you go out, please check the official website again for the latest information.

Main events in Kyoto in May

The following events are mainly held in Kyoto during Golden Week each year.

  • Spring special exhibition (temple treasures, murals, etc.)
  • Lighting up gardens, etc.
  • Festivals at shrines and temples
  • Breezy event

Although the scale and content of events vary from year to year, many people look forward to Golden Week when they visit Kyoto.

[Kodaiji] Light-up special exhibition

■Address: 526 Shimokawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0825
Kodaiji official website

What is Kodaiji?

Kodaiji Temple was built in 1606 (Keicho 11) by Kitamandokoro Nene, Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s legal wife, to mourn for Hideyoshi. It belongs to the Kenninji school of the Rinzai sect, and its official name is Kodai Jushozenji.
In 2024, it will be 400 years since Nene Kitamandokoro’s death, and in advance of that, the stone pavement has been renewed and photo contests have been held in recent years.

Special Spring Exhibition Fujii Yusen “Ryuka Spring Early, Cat Tiger Sleeping”

[Period] March 4, 2022 – May 5, 2022 / 9:00 – 22:00 (last reception 21:30)
You can view dedicated works and new works by Yusen Fujii, a painter who has been based in Kyoto for 30 years.
The auspicious dragons and tigers are depicted in a wide variety of ways, and you’ll be sure to receive a variety of inspiration.

Spring night special viewing “Oni – Culture from far away”

[Period] March 4, 2022 – May 5, 2022 / Lights on 17:00 – Reception ends 21:30 (gate closes at 22:00)
Demons have two sides: “a terrifying monster that can eat people” and “a reliable being who wards off misfortune and brings good fortune.” Continuing from 2021, Kodaiji Temple is lighting up its garden with the theme of demons. Projection mapping is also a must-see.

[Entoku-in] Light-up special exhibition

■Address: 530 Shimokawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0825
Entokuin official website

What is Entokuin?

Entoku-in is a sub-temple that stands opposite Kodai-ji. It is known as the place where Nene Kitamandokoro spent the last 19 years of her life until she was 77 years old.
Events related to Kodaiji Temple are held, so be sure to check them out as well.

Special Spring Exhibition Fujii Yusen “Ryuka Spring Early, Cat Tiger Sleeping”

[Period] March 4, 2022 – May 5, 2022 / 10:00 – 22:00 (last reception 21:30)
Yusen Fujii’s colorful cat tigers are definitely a must-see in the Year of the Tiger. If you wish to visit both Kodai-ji and Entoku-in, you will have to pay an admission fee for each, so we recommend purchasing a “Common Discount Admission Ticket.”

Spring night special viewing

[Period] March 4, 2022 – May 5, 2022 / Lights on 17:00 – Reception ends 21:30 (gate closes at 22:00)
At Entoku-in Temple, snow willow, asebi, and irises are at their best from April to May. In contrast to Kodaiji’s gorgeous light-up, Entoku-in holds a calm light-up every year.

[Reigen-in] Ceiling painting and Amacha garden special exhibition

■Address: 605-0811 · 594 Komatsucho, Yamatooji Shijo Shimoru, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City
Reigen-in official website

What is Reigen-in?

Reigen-in is the sub-temple of Kennin-ji, the head temple of the Rinzai sect. It was founded between 1394 and 1428 by Ichian Ichirin, a disciple of the monk Tokumi of Ryuzan.
There is the “Hondo” which is a place of study for high priests who have mastered Gozan literature, “Kanro Tei” which is a dry landscape garden, and “Yasokuken” which has a four-and-a-half tatami tea ceremony room.

Special release of Reiwa ceiling painting “Bokuryuzu” and sweet tea garden “Tsurumei Jiugo” completed

[Period] March 19, 2022 – July 3, 2022 / 11:00 – 14:30 (gate closes at 15:00)
The newly dedicated ceiling painting “Ink Dragon” by Chinese visual artist Chen Man has been unveiled. You can also see the new garden “Tsurumei-Kugo” created by landscape architects Yukihiro Nakane and Naoki Nakane, where you can enjoy a beautiful and tranquil atmosphere.

[Yasui Konpira Shrine] Spring Konpira Grand Festival

■Address: 70 Shimobentencho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0823
Yasui Konpiragu Official Website

What is Yasui Konpira Shrine?

Yasui Konpiragu is a shrine famous for “enkiri” and “enmusubi.”
The main deity, Emperor Sutoku, renounced all desires and went into seclusion at Kotohira Shrine in Sanuki, so it is said that “you can cut off bad relationships and be blessed with good ones.”

Spring Konpira Festival

[Period] May 10, 2022
The Spring Festival (11:30) and Fire Ceremony (13:00) are held at the end of Golden Week. After setting up a goma altar in the front garden of the “Enkiri Enmusubi Monument” in the precincts, we burn the goma wood and pray that everyone’s wishes will come true.

[Yasaka Shrine] Tango Festival

■Address: 625 North Gion-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0073
Yasaka Shrine official website

What is Yasaka Shrine?

Yasaka Shrine is the head office of Gion Shrine located all over the country. It is also the venue for the Gion Festival, one of the world-famous Japanese festivals, and is affectionately known by the locals as “Gion-san” and “Yasaka-san.”
Many of the buildings within the precincts are recognized as national treasures and important cultural properties, making it one of the most spectacular places to see.

Dango Festival

[Period] May 5, 2022
Tango Festival is an event to pray for the health and happiness of children. At 10:00 on the day of the festival, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will distribute koi strips to visitors.
From the end of April to May 5th, carp streamers are flown in front of the West Tower Gate and in the grounds, making it possible to take pictures reminiscent of Boy’s Festival.

[Along the Kamogawa River] Kamogawa Noryo Yuko

■Address: 489 Higashi-Izucho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 604-0922
Kamogawa Noryoudoko related site

What is Kamogawa?

The Kamogawa River is a river approximately 23km long that flows from north to south within Kyoto City. Throughout the four seasons, we are entertained by various natural features such as cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.
In particular, the Kamogawa River around Gion has become a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

Kamogawa Noryoudoko

[Period] May 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022 (TBD)
Kamogawa Noryo Yuka is a traditional event that has been passed down since the Momoyama period. On the west side of the Kamogawa River, a special stand has been set up along the Misogi River from Nijo to Gojo, and the lights of the shops and the shimmering surface of the river create a quaint scenery.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. are mainly open for dinner, but there are also stores where you can enjoy lunch.

There are many other spots rich in nature in May

In Kyoto in May, be sure to pay attention not only to the emotional events, but also to the rich nature.
The following spots are especially recommended.

  • Kenninji Temple: Peony (button)
  • Tokujomyoin: Ichihatsu
  • Heian Shrine: Kawahone, irises
  • Tofukuji: Blue maple

Please pay attention not only to the plants that dominate each spot, but also to the flowers that bloom casually. Beautiful plants and trees are sure to give you a lot of energy and hope.

Let’s spend a refreshing time in Kyoto in May in a stylish rental kimono

We have introduced recommended events and spots during Golden Week and early May.
Did you find a place you’re interested in?

When going out in Kyoto in May, we recommend the Gion area, which is full of events and has a rich atmosphere.

Also, why not try renting a kimono to create wonderful memories with your family and friends?
The rental kimono shop “Waplus Kyoto” is located a 1-minute walk from Yasaka Shrine, and is a great place for sightseeing around Gion. This is the perfect store.
May is a good time to wear a kimono, as it’s neither too hot nor too cold, so you’ll be able to fully enjoy the fashion of wearing a kimono.

[Waplus Kyoto Yasaka Shrine store]
■Address: 2nd floor, GION KIMONO Shioriza, 483-1 Kiyoimachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0821
■Access: 12 minutes walk east from Gion Shijo Station (Exit 6) / 1 minute walk from Yasaka Shrine Sakura South Gate

Click here for kimono rental plans & prices
Click here for reservations and inquiries


Author of this article


Waplus Yasaka Shrine store staff

Ayana Ogawa

We would like to help many customers smile through kimono rental.
I love spending time listening to customer requests and proposing kimono coordination and deciding on hair styles!
I am particularly good at hair styling, so please leave it to me to create the currently popular feminine hair.
I'll make it look cute!
My hobbies are music, movies, and shopping!
Please come and visit Waplus Kyoto!
We will suggest cute coordination!