Jan. 28, 2016 UPDATE
Leading You to Plum Blossom's Season in Kyoto
Recommended spots and events around
Now we will introduce some interesting events and locations in the area we personally recommend.
Ennichi ( Tenjin san )If you're interested in finding affordable antiques in Kyoto, you definitely need to make your way to “Tenjin san”, held on the 25th of every month. Retro junk from private homes, antiques sure to have high value, old kimonos, even food; take your pick from 1000 or so different stalls with a variety of goods. Sellers are lined up on both sides of the street from 6a.m. till sunset around the site, but the best time to go is definitely the morning. You can easily spend an hour or two if you walk around trying to see everything.
Daihoonji（Senbon Shakado-Temple）Daihoonji is a small temple about a 10-minute walk from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The main hall still has the same wooden structure it had when it was built over 800 years ago; it has been designated a national treasure. It's most known for its large weeping cherry blossoms blooming in spring--it's quite the spectacle.
Also, in February it holds a setsubun festival, for lots of good luck and fortune throughout the year. On that day, after holding a unique program, many people gather for a special spiritual purification event called Mamemaki (a ritual of throwing roasted soybeans). A mysterious event performed since ancient times, definitely try to enjoy it up close.
Hirano ShrineAnother small shrine, this one renowned for its beautiful cherry blossoms since ancient times. It is often said "plum blossoms at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, cherry blossoms at Hirano Srine", and people come from afar to see the early-flowering blossoms said to originate here. At the cherry blossom festival, which takes place on April 10 every year, you can watch a Parade with participants dressed in Heian-era costumes. Because there are so many different types of cherry blossoms, you can see them for a long period of time. If you're in the area too late for plum season in February/March, you should definitely pay a visit to Hirano Shrine.
CAFE FROSCHFar away from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto, this tranquil area has seen a quiet boom in recent years with the opening of new cafes and confectioner's shops. Café FROSCH is a homey shop that sells handmade bread and other foods. The cafe came about when two sisters wanted to open a place where people of different ages and nationalities could interact, in a city filled with culture and ancient buildings. Besides "English Night", held every Thursday, the cafe plans a variety of other events, including live events and workshops. You don't have to worry about language here; you're sure to be welcomed with a warm welcome and fluent English.