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

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

Date published: 10 April 2020
Last updated: 10 June 2020

Kyoto in autumn is amazing: the fall leaves make for the best time of the year to be a tourist. Many tourists come in from all over the world, but it is good to know that there is a large temperature difference between September and November, so be sure to pack your clothes accordingly.

It can be hard to purchase the right clothes in an unfamiliar country, so here’s what to bring! Just keep in mind that weather can change so while we provide overall trends of what to wear, it is best to check the weather forecast before you leave your home.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Kyoto weather like?
  2. What is Kyoto like in September?
  3. What are the best clothes to wear for September in Kyoto?
  4. Best things to do and see in Kyoto in September
  5. What is Kyoto like in October?
  6. What is the best outfit for October in Kyoto?
  7. Recommended things to do and see in Kyoto in October
  8. What is November like in Kyoto?
  9. What is the best outfit for November in Kyoto?
  10. Top things to do and see in Kyoto in November

What is Kyoto weather like?

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 summer period, so autumn in Kyoto comes early. In winter, it goes below freezing, and the northern tip of 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 September?

What is Kyoto like in September?

The average temperature in the southern part of September is 24.1℃, with an average maximum temperature of 28.8℃ and an average minimum temperature of 20.3℃. The average temperature is about 4°C lower than in August, but there are still hot days. In recent years, it has been extremely hot, the sun is intense, and the daytime temperature can exceed 35°C. The late morning and evening temperatures drop slightly, making those times of the day easier. However, keep in mind that this is also typhoon season, so be sure to track the forecast.

September averages in southern Kyoto (announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
24.1
Max Temperature (℃)
28.8
Min Temperature (℃)
20.3
Precipitation (mm)
176.2
Humidity (%)
68

The northern summer is short and the average temperature is about 2°C lower than in the south, but it is still hot during the day. The temperature will drop throughout the day, and the average temperature differs by about 6°C between the 1st and the 30th of the month. At the turn of the season, be careful not to get sick from the temperature difference.

September averages of northern Kyoto Prefecture (Miyazu City) (Meteorological Agency: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
22.4
Max Temperature (℃)
27.2
Min Temperature (℃)
18.6
Precipitation (mm)
202.2

What are the best clothes to wear for September in Kyoto?

What are the best clothes to wear for September in Kyoto?
Model: Yuki Sakai

Kyoto weather in September can see strong sun and hot days continue early in the month, so you can use your short-sleeved shirts from August. Late in the morning and evening the temperature drops and cools down, so it's better to have a thin hoodie or cardigan in case it cools off throughout the day. Although there are still many people wearing sandals, many people switch to shoes and sneakers as the month progresses.

●The best items to pack
Tops (men and women): T-shirts, polo shirts, (woman) dresses
Bottoms (men and women): cotton pants, (women) skirts
Shoes (men and women): sandals, sneakers
Accessories (men and women): folding umbrella

Best things to do and see in Kyoto in September

With the full-fledged tourist season, many shrines in Kyoto will begin special exhibitions of Buddha statues and paintings. On display will be things that are not normally open to the public such as temple treasures, national treasures, and important cultural properties. Depending on the year, the place, content, and period will be different, so be sure to do some research before visiting.

What is Kyoto like in October?

What is Kyoto like in October?

The sun softens in October. Kyoto weather in October can see temperatures exceeding 30°C during the day, but this gradually drops as the month progresses, making it easier to spend time outside. With an average maximum temperature of 22.9°C and an average minimum temperature of 13.6°C, it is a pleasant climate, so Kyoto is full of tourists. There can be a long rainy season, called the long rain of autumn, but on a clear day, the refreshing breeze gives you the perfect autumn in Kyoto feeling.

October averages in southern Kyoto prefecture (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
17.8
Max Temperature (℃)
22.9
Min Temperature (℃)
13.6
Precipitation (mm)
120.9
Humidity (%)
68

The average high temperature in the north is 16.5°C, with an average high temperature of 21.8°C and an average low temperature of 12.2°C. Be careful, as it may get cold in the morning and evening. Keep in mind that the temperature will drop toward the end of the month.

October averages in northern Kyoto prefecture (Miyazu city) (JMA announcement: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
16.5
Max Temperature (℃)
21.8
Min Temperature (℃)
12.2
Precipitation (mm)
132.4

What is the best outfit for October in Kyoto?

What is the best outfit for October in Kyoto?
Model: Kota Takatsuki

In October, it becomes too chilly for short-sleeved shirts, so three-quarter or long-sleeved T-shirts and polo shirts are recommended. In late October, you will need to wear a vest, trainer, or cardigan. As it gets cold in the morning and evening, it is good to have a thick cotton jacket. Sandal season will be over, so be sure to bring sneakers or shoes.

●The best items to pack
Tops (men and women): long sleeve polo shirt, trainer
Bottoms (men and women): cotton pants, (women) skirt + stockings
Shoes (men and women): sneakers, shoes

Recommended things to do and see in Kyoto in October

For a long time in Japan, the evening moon on August 15 of the lunar calendar (the lunar solar calendar) was called the mid-autumn moon, and everyone enjoyed the beauty of the moon floating in the sky. Mizuki events are held in various places in Kyoto. Shinto rituals are held at famous shrines such as Yasaka Shrine, Shimogamo Shrine, and Daikaku-ji Temple, and you can watch the moon from these locations.

What is November like in Kyoto?

What is November like in Kyoto?

In November, the average maximum temperature is 17.0°C, with an average minimum temperature of 7.8°C. The temperature gradually decreases as autumn deepens. Evenings became quite cold, giving a sense of winter. Because there are many sunny days, the nearby mountains and shrines are full of people to enjoy the autumn leaves in Kyoto.

November averages in southern Kyoto (announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency: normal values from 1981 to 2010)
Temperature (℃)
12.1
Max Temperature (℃)
17.0
Min Temperature (℃)
7.8
Precipitation (mm)
71.3
Humidity (%)
68

The average maximum temperature in the north is 11.3°C, with an average maximum temperature of 16.3°C and an average minimum temperature of 7.0°C. It is a comfortable season, but the morning and evening are cold. There are many cloudy days, but when the fall foliage is at its best, many tourists visit the northern parts of the country.

November averages of northern Kyoto prefecture (Miyazu city)
Temperature (℃)
11.3
Max Temperature (℃)
16.3
Min Temperature (℃)
7.0
Precipitation (mm)
127.3

What is the best outfit for November in Kyoto?

What is the best outfit for November in Kyoto?
Model: Arita Sora

In the early season, a thick knit over a shirt or a denim jacket over a blouse is just right. From mid to late season, you will need a jacket or winter coat over a shirt or knit. Warm winters have happened in recent years, but Kyoto is a basin, so it is very cold in a full-fledged winter. Since the temperature varies depending on the day, it is recommended to wear clothes that can be layered.

●The best items to pack
Tops (men and women): thick sweaters and jackets
Bottoms (men and women): wool pants, (woman) skirt + thin tights
Shoes (men and women): sneakers, shoes

Top things to do and see in Kyoto in November

Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and is famous for its autumn leaves. When the trees begin to color, tourists enjoy the beautiful scenery, called Momijiri. In addition to scenic spots such as Kibune, Ohara, Philosophy Road, and Arashiyama, be sure to check out Sanzenin, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Ryoanji Temple, Toji Temple. The northern foliage occurs a bit earlier than the south, so depending on when you visit, you might want to visit the northern part.


Autumn in Kyoto is a comfortable time to travel. Cultural events are held in various places, so go out to the suburbs as well as the city. The Kyoto autumn breeze before the full-scale winter is comfortable and you can get in touch with the beautiful nature. However, since the temperature can vary greatly depending on the area and the day of your visit, packing clothes and accessories so that you can layer them is the best way to enjoy your travels.

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

*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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