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Visiting Kyoto in Summer 2020: Ultimate Guide to Kyoto Weather and What To Pack!

Visiting Kyoto in Summer 2020: Ultimate Guide to Kyoto Weather and What To Pack!

Date published: 24 March 2020
Last updated: 10 June 2020

Kyoto in summer is a popular time for people to visit Japan's cultural capital. However, the heat and humidity in summer are intense. Kyoto, which is a quite large prefecture, has a different climate depending on the area.

Therefore, a local writer will describe the typical temperatures in June, July and August, the clothes you should wear, and what you may find useful. To play it safe, because there can be unexpected weather changes, you should check the latest information on the weather forecast site immediately before you depart for this area.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Kyoto weather like?
  2. What is Kyoto like in June?
  3. What’s the best outfit for Kyoto in June?
  4. Tips on things to do and see in Kyoto in June
  5. Kyoto in July
  6. What are the best clothes for July in Kyoto?
  7. Recommended things to do and see in Kyoto in July
  8. August in Kyoto
  9. What are the perfect clothes to wear in August in Kyoto?
  10. Best things to see and do in Kyoto in August
  11. Related Articles

What is Kyoto weather like?

What is Kyoto weather like?
StreetVJ / Shutterstock.com

The Tamba Mountains are located almost in the center of Kyoto Prefecture, which has a north to south orientation. The climate is different between the northern and southern regions. The northern part of Fukuchiyama, Maizuru, and Miyazu, where Amanohashidate is located, has a Sea of Japan climate. This means it has many cloudy days throughout the year and a short Kyoto summer period, so autumn comes early.

In winter, it goes below freezing, and the northern tip of the Tango Peninsula has a lot of snow. It is an area with high humidity throughout the year.

The city of Kyoto, home to Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Kinkaku-ji Temple, is a basin surrounded by mountains in the southern part of Kyoto Prefecture. Because of this, it is extremely hot in summer and very cold in winter. There is a large temperature difference between day and night.

Another characteristic of the basin is that the elevation increases as you approach the mountain, so the weather and temperature are different between the urban area in the south and the north. It is known in Kyoto that "the height of the five-storied pagoda of Toji in the south and the height of Kitayama-dori in the north are the same," and the height of the five-storied pagoda is 54.8 m. With only 8.5 km, the altitude changes and the temperature drops accordingly.

What is Kyoto like in June?

What is Kyoto like in June?

The average temperature in June in the southern part of June is 23℃, with the average maximum being 27.8℃ and the average minimum temperature being 18.8℃. The average temperature is about 4°C higher than in May and the rainfall is high throughout the year, so the humidity is high and the discomfort index rises. Rainy days increase as the month progresses, so it is better for travelers traveling during this period to look for spots that can be enjoyed on rainy days, as well as come prepared with umbrellas and raincoats.

June averages in southern Kyoto prefecture (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
23.0
Maximum Temperature (℃)
27.8
Minimum Temperature (℃)
18.8
Precipitation (mm)
214
Humidity (%)
67

The average temperature in the northern region is about 2°C lower than that in the southern region. There are many humid days, but it may feel a bit chilly when it rains. Northern tourist spots have many mountain and coastal areas and there are few indoor attractions, so it may be nice to relax at the inn on rainy days.

June averages of northern Kyoto prefecture (Miyazu city) (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
21.0
Maximum Temperature (℃)
25.7
Minimum Temperature (℃)
16.9
Precipitation (mm)
160.9

What’s the best outfit for Kyoto in June?

What’s the best outfit for Kyoto in June?
Model: Yuki Sakai

June is the time to change to summer clothes. Because of the rainy season, it is a good idea to have waterproof shoes or rain shoes. As it warms up, the number of places with air conditioning will increase, so it is best to have something to keep warm in these buildings and vehicles.

●The best items to bring
Tops (men and women): T-shirts, polo shirts
Bottoms (men and women): Jeans, (woman) skirts
Shoes (men and women): sneakers, sandals, rain shoes
Accessories (men and women): folding umbrellas

Tips on things to do and see in Kyoto in June

The hydrangea, which changes color as the flower opens, is best seen during the rainy season. There are many famous places in Kyoto where you can enjoy flowers for about a month. One such spot where you can see more than 1000 hydrangeas is Ohara Sanzenin (Sakyo Ward). In the Maizuru Natural Cultural Park, located in the northern part of Maizuru City, about 100,000 hydrangea varieties are on display.

Kyoto in July

Kyoto in July

The average temperature in July is 26.8°C, with an average maximum temperature of 31.5°C and an average minimum temperature of 23.2°C. During the rainy season, it is quite humid, and when the rainy season ends, Kyoto summer is in full swing. It is good to be aware of the increased risk of heatstroke because the number of days where the number of days in exceedance of 30°C is high. There is also strong sunlight in addition to the humidity.

Averages for July in southern Kyoto Prefecture (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
26.8
Maximum Temperature (℃)
31.5
Minimum Temperature (℃)
23.2
Precipitation (mm)
220.4
Humidity (%)
70

The average temperature in northern July is 25.1°C, with an average high temperature of 29.8°C and an average low temperature of 21.5°C. The average temperature rises about 4°C from June onward. The rainy season is early in the summer season, and when it ends you can feel the arrival of Kyoto summer. This is the season for going to the beaches in the northern coast of the Sea of Japan.

July averages of northern Kyoto prefecture (Miyazu city) (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
25.1
Maximum Temperature (℃)
29.8
Minimum Temperature (℃)
21.5
Precipitation (mm)
185.8

What are the best clothes for July in Kyoto?

What are the best clothes for July in Kyoto?
Model: Arita Sora

Throughout Kyoto, the temperature rises rapidly after the rainy season, so it is recommended that tops be short-sleeved or sleeveless and made out of cotton or hemp blends for good ventilation. It is good to have a thin hoodie or other coat to protect against the strong sunshine and to handle the indoor air conditioning. We recommend sandals, hats, parasols, and sunglasses when outdoors.

●The best items to bring
Tops (men and women): T-shirts, polo shirts
Bottoms (men and women): cotton pants, (women) skirts
Shoes (men and women): sandals
Accessories (men and women): hats, sunglasses, parasols

Recommended things to do and see in Kyoto in July

One of Japan's three major festivals, the Gion Matsuri, is a Kyoto summer tradition. Various festivals are held from July 1st to 31st around Yasaka Shrine. The biggest event is the Yamahoko cruise from the 17th to the 24th. The appearance of the Yamahoko, which is decorated with luxurious accommodations, travels along the main street with the sound of Gion Bayashi.

August in Kyoto

August in Kyoto
WYtop / Shutterstock.com

The average temperature in August is 28.2°C, with an average maximum temperature of 33.3°C and an average minimum temperature of 24.3°C. In summer in Kyoto, it can be quite uncomfortable due to the high humidity and heat and strong sunlight in the basin. In addition, there are intense days exceeding 35°C, which can cause heatstroke. Heatstroke may be dangerous to some people, so it is necessary to take precautions to be safe.

Air conditioning is indispensable even at night because the temperature does not drop overnight, and the nights have a tropical feel. Also, since it is typhoon season, be sure to check the weather forecast and typhoon information to avoid complications while sightseeing.

August averages for southern Kyoto (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
28.2
Maximum Temperature (℃)
33.3
Minimum Temperature (℃)
24.3
Precipitation (mm)
132.1
Humidity (%)
66

In the northern part of Kyoto during August, the days of over 30℃ continue. The average temperature is 26.5℃, with an average maximum temperature of 31.7℃ and an average minimum temperature of 22.6℃. Be sure to take measures to protect yourself against the heat as there are intense heat days exceeding 35°C. There are many sunny days to enjoy leisure in the mountains and the sea, but be sure to watch out for lightning-filled sunsets.

August averages of northern Kyoto prefecture (Miyazu city) (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
26.5
Maximum Temperature (℃)
31.7
Minimum Temperature (℃)
22.6
Precipitation (mm)
130.3

What are the perfect clothes to wear in August in Kyoto?

What are the perfect clothes to wear in August in Kyoto?
What is the perfect outfit for August in Kyoto?

As in July, short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts are recommended, and women can wear loose dresses. Sandals are recommended, but you don't have a parasol for walking outside, wear a thin hoodie or jacket to protect your skin from the sun. The inside of the building can be very cool, so it's useful to have it for those times.

●The best items to bring
Tops (men and women): T-shirt, (woman) dresses
Bottoms (men and women): cotton pants, (women) skirts
Shoes (men and women): sandals
Accessories (men and women): hats, sunglasses, parasols

Best things to see and do in Kyoto in August

Kyoto's traditional event "Kyoto Gozan Sendai" is ignited sequentially from 8pm on August 16 every year. This is for sending the spirits that returned during the Bon Festival. There are five bonfires: large, myo-ho, boat-shaped, left capital letter, and torii-shaped. Even at night, it is quite humid, so be sure to take measures against heat stroke such as drinking plenty of water when enjoying the festivities.


In the city of Kyoto, surrounded by mountains, there is little breeze and the Kyoto summer heat is intense. Adding to this is the heat island phenomenon in the city center. However, shrines scattered around the city have shade, and there are many sightseeing spots. Souvenir shops and restaurants are equipped with air conditioning, and transportation is also air conditioned. There are many mountains and seas in the northern sightseeing spots, so enjoy the outdoors while being careful about the heat.

Reference: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Meteorological Agency website

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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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