November 27, 2019
by Fumiya Tamaoki and Masahiro Komatsu
Have you fully enjoyed each season in Kyoto?
In Japan, the temperature in Kyoto is not too high. However, many people living in Kyoto and tourists say “Summer in Kyoto is very hot.” Why is it that many people feel hot in Kyoto, although the temperature is not particularly high? The answer is in the topography of Kyoto.
Kyoto city is surrounded by mountains in all directions, and it is a basin. So, the wind can’t blow through Kyoto city, and this makes us feel humid. Also, since Kyoto city is far away from the ocean, the temperature does not drop much even at night. In general, it is said that this basin city is not only hot in the summer, but also it feels cold in the winter. As you can see, it seems like summer and winter in Kyoto is a very difficult to stay. However, Kyoto has become one of the most famous cities that has a lot of sightseeing spots. Tourists visit Kyoto regardless of the season. Of course, the truth that Kyoto is hot is not escapable. However, tourists and residents spend their seasons in a way that is unique to Kyoto. They know how to make use of the characteristics of the land in Kyoto. These are some ways to spend enjoyable summer and winter in Kyoto.
Freshen up by “Hozugawa Kudari”
First of all, what can we do to get comfortable in the hot summer? Do you go swimming in the sea? Or do you want to go to the pool? Playing in the water makes us refreshed. There are not only seas and pools, but also rivers in Kyoto.
In Kyoto, it is very popular among tourists to ride down a river in a canoe. Especially famous is “Hozugawa Kudari”, a trip down the Hozu River. Departing from Kameoka city next to Kyoto city, we can travel about 90 minutes to Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. Receiving a cold splash and feeling refreshed, you can also see and feel the nature of Kyoto. It is one of the perfect ways for having a hot summer fun. Also, we can do “Hozugawa Kudari” not only in the summer but throughout the year. It’s fun as a summer play, but you can enjoy it well in other seasons. For example, you can enjoy autumn leaves in autumn and enjoy snow scenery in winter because the course is surrounded by nature.
Have a nice time on the riverside
Next, we will show you how to eat coolly while you are outside in a hot summer. It is Noryo doko, built in the Kamogawa that flows through the center of Kyoto. Shops on the east of the street face the Kamo-gawa River, and many restaurants among them lay out the Noryo doko (wooden platform over the dry riverbed for enjoying cool breezes). Noryo doko can be enjoyed from May to September, so you can have a good meal in the hot summer. Also, this covers about 1 kilometer, and various restaurants, bars, and pubs are participating. Because many restaurants are participating, you can enjoy various dishes. Of course you can also enjoy Japanese traditional meals. Having a meal above the river will have a special taste as it is an experience you cannot usually do.
Keep warm by hot spring
Next, we will show you how to spend time pleasantly in the cold winter of Kyoto. One of the famous tourist spots in Kyoto is Arashiyama. The bridge named Togetsu Bridge and the road of bamboo grove in Arashiyama are very beautiful, so it is a popular spot. If you go to Kyoto by sightseeing, you should go to Arashiyama. Arashiyama also can be enjoyed in any season. However, in this article we will show you how to spend the cold winter happily. It is different from the purpose of this article to introduce only Arashiyama. However, there is a place where you can spend a pleasant cold winter near Arashiyama station. It is a hot spring called “Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen fu fu no-yu“. It will heal the tired body and cold body in sightseeing. The point is, the area of Arashiyama can be enjoyed with a set of sightseeing and hot springs. This facility has hot springs as well as mist sauna and it is popular. Like this way, is it possible to enjoy sightseeing and hot springs at same place? Or, is it ban be in only Arashiyama? Actually, Kyoto is the prefecture with many public baths in the top level among Japan. There are many public baths in Kyoto city. Therefore, if you also check public baths near the place you are planning to go sightseeing, you can enjoy sightseeing in the cold winter.
Become warm from inside in the Nisiki market
Next, how about consuming some warm food and alcohol to warm your body and heart in the cold winter? To enjoy warm and fresh ingredients, there is a place called the Nishiki market in the center of Kyoto. Because this place is a market, you can enjoy various meals mainly fresh seafood. Especially, in March every year, events are held to enjoy local alcohol in Kyoto. Why don’t you visit events that you can enjoy with delicious ingredients and local sake in March of Kyoto where cold still remains.
Kyoto is a tourist destination that anyone can enjoy in all seasons. Visitors can feel a different atmosphere in each of the four seasons whether going to a temple or a shrine or enjoying nature. But they may have to do sightseeing not only in pleasant weather, but also in the more severe environment of summer and winter. At such a time, tourists can enjoy more than usual if they do sightseeing in the way introduced in this article. Kyoto is one of the leading tourist destinations in Japan, not only because it has great places and scenery, but also because there are many ways to enjoy the environment.