10 Best Things to Do in Kyoto in May 2024

What to see and do in Kyoto in May.

kyoto in may-min

Do you have any travel plans this May? Kyoto is one of the famous places in Japan that many tourists want to visit to witness the beautiful places here that are full of ancient Japan’s historical culture. And, If you want to visit Kyoto this May, this article is for you. I will share the 10 best things to do in Kyoto in May.

May in Kyoto

Spring and autumn are the best time to visit Kyoto when many beautiful flowers are blooming and fragrant. May is one of the perfect months because of the nice weather distinctly mild and cool. However, it is also the busiest month not only in Kyoto but all over Japan when the well-known longest holiday is being held. Many events and festivals are happening, in Kyoto one of the most popular festivals is held in May so expect a large number of tourists during this time.

Aside from events and festivals, there are many other fun and memorable activities in Kyoto that you can experience. There are foods, cultural activities, wearing traditional costumes, and much more. Here are some best things to do in Kyoto in May.

.   .   .

1. Flower Viewing

flower viewing kyoto-min

Many kinds of flowers bloom during spring, giving more life to the gardens, shrines, and temples and there are some places in Japan like Kyoto where you can still see late blooming cherry blossoms. The Wisteria and Iris flowers are among the most popular flowers during May that you will love to see in the gardens of Kyoto. Take a walk and enjoy observing seasonal flowers.

2. Experience Aoi Festival

Aoi matsuri-min
© City of Kyoto and Kyoto City Tourism Association

One of the famous and biggest festivals in Kyoto which is held annually every May. It is a festival to reap a bountiful harvest featuring rituals and processions. This May 15, 2024, is the main schedule of the event. Enjoy and witness one of the cultural festivals in Kyoto.

3. Kyoto Botanical Gardens

fountain kyoto botanical garden-min

One of the places to enjoy nature, it is nice to walk around for sightseeing to relax and unwind while observing beautiful flowers around. You can also enjoy some flowers and plant exhibitions.

Check out the following article for more information about the Gardens in Kyoto!

▶︎Kyoto Botanical Garden Cherry Blossoms

▶︎8 Best Zen Gardens in Kyoto

4. Experience Tea Ceremony

tea ceremony-min

The best thing to do when visiting Kyoto is a great experience to remember especially if you love tea. You can feel the presence of old Japan, it is very popular in Kyoto where many tourists are offered this wonderful activity to experience.

For more information about the Tea Ceremony in Kyoto, check out the following article!

▶︎Tea Ceremony Kyoto: 5 Best Experiences

5. Take a walk in Gion District

gion district-min

Gion is one of the famous tourist destinations where the area is full of entertainment activities. And it is nice to walk around here to discover interesting things about Kyoto’s history. You will be truly fascinated by the surrounding structures of ancient Japanese culture.

Check out the following article for more information about the Gion District in Kyoto!

▶︎Gion: Traditional Geisha District in Kyoto

6. Visit Kiyomizudera Temple

Visit Kiyomizudera Temple-min (1)
© Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Visit the famous historical building in Japan, Kiyomizu-Dera, which is also a popular tourist destination in Kyoto. The temple is surrounded by forest trees which give the place an ultimate beauty. On the terrace, you can see the beauty of nature, especially during spring and autumn when various colorful flowers and leaves sprout.

Check out the following article for more information about the Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto!

▶︎Kyoto Kiyomizudera Temple: When is the Best Time to Visit?

7. Visit Kyoto Tower

kyoto tower-min

Kyoto Tower is the tallest building in Kyoto 131 meters above the ground. A must-visit when you are in Kyoto, easily accessible just near Kyoto Station. Its observation deck offers a cityscape view of Kyoto. And you can enjoy the different colors of the tower at night. There are also shops, restaurants, and souvenir shops around.

For more travel tips about Kyoto, Check out the following articles.

▶︎17 Best Places to Visit in Kyoto

▶︎30 Best Things to Do in Kyoto

8. Visit Nijo Castle

Visit Nijo Castle-min
Copyright©Kyoto City Office. 2024

Visiting Nijo Castle is one of the most unique experiences among other castles. Rich in the history of ancient Japan with various amazing things that are perfectly preserved. Many events and activities can be enjoyed here such as flower festivals every spring and illumination at night.

9. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest-min

Arashiyama bamboo grove is one of the famous tourist destinations in Kyoto. It is nice to go for a walk along the bamboo grove, and in May the weather is not too hot yet perfect to unwind and take a picture with the green bamboo background which is truly amazing.

For more travel tips about Kyoto, Check out the following article.

▶︎Kyoto Arashiyama and Sagano: 10 Best Things to Do

▶︎Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, Kyoto

10. Visit Kyoto National Museum

kyoto national museum-min
© Kyoto National Museum.

One of the famous museums in Kyoto that features various exhibitions of traditional Japanese art. Many events and activities are held to enjoy. The place is big you can also enjoy the view outside like the garden and some outdoor exhibits. They also have shops and restaurants.

For more travel tips and activities in Kyoto, Check out the following article.

▶︎Best Tours and Activities in Kyoto

▶︎15 Best Museums in Japan

.   .   .

Thank you for reading. I hope this article helps and provides the information you are looking for about the places and events to visit in Kyoto in May.

▽Subscribe to our free news magazine!▽

For more information about traveling in Japan, check these articles below.

▽Related Articles▽

▼Editor’s Picks▼

Written by

Greetings to all mommies I am a supermom from Philippines. Previously, I worked and lived in Dubai for seven years, until 2015 the year I  moved in Japan. Currently, I am happily settled here with my Japanese husband and our 7 months old baby. I could only describe my almost 6 years of living here as a roller coaster ride more so, after I gave birth to my son. Japan had changed me in ways unimaginable. It has influence my lifestyle, my perceptions and beliefs. I was able to witness firsthand the pros and cons of living in the country. From their  language, culture and ethnicity, the people, place and in work. Those years were enough to give me quite personal and memorable experiences which I would be more than delighted to share with you.