“Kyo-no-Tanabata” is a collection of events
will be held in August.

From August 1 (Wed)  to  16 (Thu)
Note: A schedule changes by each event.

The events are designed around the theme of “Wishes,” in honor of the tradition of “making a wish once a year.” It is the event full of magical productions of bamboo and light, where visitors can enjoy the tradition of Tanabata in true Kyoto style.


What is “Tanabata”?

The Tanabata legend tells of two lovers, Hikoboshi (Altair star) and Orihime (Vega star), who are separated by the “river of the heavens” (Milky Way). They are allowed to meet once a year, on the night of July 7 in the lunar calendar. —That means around August 7 in the today’s solar calendar.
The Chinese celebrated Kikkoten, where people would pray to the star of Orihime for proficiency in skills such as needlework and calligraphy.
This tradition travelled to Japan during the Nara Period and was combined with a Bon Festival event called Tanabata, which involved loom-weaving for ancestral spirits.
This is said to be the origin of Tanabata in Japan.

About the Event Sites

Horikawa Site

The Horikawa Site will offer romantic productions such as the “Yuzen Nagashi of Light,” which embellishes Horikawa River with light and beautiful Yuzen silks and magical productions of bamboo and light.

Dates:  August 4 (Sat) to 10 (Fri)

Illumination Hours:  7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.

Location and Note:
The walkway along Horikawa River (Oike -St. to Ichijo Modribashi Bridge).

During the event period the Walking Path will be one-way to the north only.
Therefor we suggest to enter the path from the Oshikoji Entrance where right in front of the No.2 Exit of Nijo-jo Mae Station(T-14), Subway Tozai Line. There you will also find the paper lanterns gate as a marker.

And if you also like to visit “Illumination of Ninomaru Garden” in Nijo-jo Castle, you should visit the Nijo-jo at first. Otherwise you will have to come back all the way long since Horikawa path is one way to north.

Official site in Japanese

Host: Kyo-no-Tanabata Star Festival Executive Committee

 Kamogawa Area

The Kamogawa Site will create a wondrous world with productions such as the “Furinto,” a wind chime installation of refreshing sounds, and the “Walkway of Bamboo and Light,” an enchanting path of illuminated bamboo shoots.

Dates: August 4 (Sat) to 10 (Fri)

Illumination Hours: 7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.

Location: Area around the Kamogawa River (Bukkoji Dori to Oike Dori)

Host: Kyo-no-Tanabata Star Festival Executive Committee

Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo) Site   — “Illumination of Ninomaru Garden”

Illumination of Ninomaru Garden, a special place of scenic beauty

Ninomaru Garden, which has the most cultural value of all historical gardens still existing in Japan, will be illuminated for the first time. Visitors can view the subtle and profound garden as the illumination makes it stand out.

Dates:  August 1 (Wed) to 15 (Wed)

Illumination Hours:
7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. (Doors close at 9:00 P.M.)

the World Heritage former detached palace Nijo Castle

*Castle admission fee required

Host: Nijo Castle Summer Light-up Committee

Kitano Kamiya-gawa Area


Nighttime entry and illumination of the historic spot Odoi Mound
The entire site is decorated with Tanabata bamboo branches and illuminated with lights to create a fantasylike atmosphere.

Mitarashigawa River

Dates:  August 4 (Sat) to 16(Thu)

Illumination Hours: Sunset to 9:00 P.M

Mitarashigawa River Ashitsuke votive light ceremony
 August 4 to 16,  9:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.     fee: 300JPY

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, Kitano Kamishichiken, area in front of Kitanomon Gate.

Host: Kitano Kamiya-gawa Tanabata Executive Committee

Other Events

For the information of other event sites , refer the their website and the pamphlet that will be announced later (have not yet in English).

Official site: http://www.kyoto-tanabata.jp

The pamphlet in Japanese download.

At each site, visitors can purchase “Picture Postcard Strips” (100 yen each) for writing wishes and attaching them to bamboo leaves.

Created by editing the introduction on the official home page of “Kyo-no-Tanabata Star Festival Executive Committee