May. 12, 2020 UPDATE
Kyo no Tanabata- 京の七夕 -
There are many foreign visitors in this event. Please feel free to visit different venues as they are located closely. It is a good point that there is an information desk in Horikawa and Kamogawa venues. You can come anytime during the event time!
English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese official website are available
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PeriodKamogawa venues：August 3 to 4 Horikawa venues：August 1 to 15 Nijo-jo Castle Venue : August 1 to 15 *Please note that the event time differs in every venue.
VenueKamogawa and Horikawa areas
Story & Recommendation
Beautiful illumination shines above in the summer night
In Japan, there is an event called "Tanabata" which is also known as Star Festival. This Tanabata Festival is called “Kyo no Tanabata” and is one of the main Tanabata Festivals held in Kyoto. On July 7th, there is a custom that people write their wishes on the strips of paper and hang them on the bamboo trees. By doing so, it is believed that your wishes will come true. Tanabata Festival is held throughout Japan from July to August and it is held in August in Kyoto to follow the old calendar. In "Kyo no Tanabata", there are various kinds of events such as nighttime illuminations of strips of papers with bamboo leaves in several places and exhibitions relating to the legend of Tanabata during the event. The two major venues are in Kamo River area and Horikawa area where is close to Nijo-jo Castle. In these places, you will surely enjoy the visionary lights of nighttime illuminations. This picture is taken in Horikawa venue and is called “a milky way of lights” (Hikari no Amanogawa). Please enjoy all these beautiful and visionary nighttime illuminations and Tanabata legend during the event which lasts about two weeks! Please also refer to Kitano Tanabata Festival which is a part of "Kyo no Tanabata". There is a nighttime illumination in Nijo-jo Castle as well. ▼ Kitano Tanabata festival https://sharing-kyoto.com/event_kitanotanabata_festival *Photo credit: Executive Committee of Kyo no Tanabata
Located in the east of Kyoto, there is a famous river called “Kamo River” which is one of the main venues of “Kyo no Tanabata”. You will surely enjoy various kinds of nighttime illuminations with LED light along the river. Please check out many kinds of strips of paper with their wishes which are hanged on the bamboo trees! *Photo credit: Executive Committee of Kyo no Tanabata
Another main venue is Horikawa where you can walk slowly through the long promenade while enjoying the events such as nighttime illuminations called "a milky way of lights” (Hikari no Amanogawa) which is made of blue and silver lights. You may enjoy the illumination made in the image of the Tanabata legend. Horikawa is known as a place associated with “Kyo Yuzen” which is a traditional Kyoto style dying method. Therefore, there is an event relating to this traditional industry called “Yuzen illumination”. You will surely enjoy the beautiful waiving Yuzen clothes under the stream with light. *Photo credit: Executive Committee of Kyo no Tanabata
Maiko Chaya (tea house)
There is a small town called “Ponto-cho” where Maiko and Geiko serve near Kamo River and you can enjoy some beverages such as beer and soft drink and desserts while enjoying the dance offered by Maiko and Geiko. As there is a service to take a photo and chat with Maiko and Geiko for ￥2,000, we highly recommend that you visit Kaburenjo Theater! *Photo credit: Executive Committee of Kyo no Tanabata
Try to get the gift with your kimono!
Speaking of a summer cloth in Japan, Kimono or Yukata, an informal cotton cloth, would probably come up to your mind. In “Kyo no Tanabata”, there are some special service for ladies who come to the event with wearing kimono or yukata. In Kamogawa venue, this beautiful lantern made of bamboo will be given to 80 ladies (100 ladies on holidays) wearing kimono or yukata (first-come-first-served basis). As there is a discount for yukata rental and dressing service, please feel free to try it! As there is a "strip of paper of Kyo no Tanabata" (￥100 each) sold in each venue, please also try it! *Photo credit: Executive Committee of Kyo no Tanabata