Kyoto Weather in January

Season: Winter
Kyoto weather in January is severely cold. Actually, January is the coldest month in Kyoto. The temperature varies at 1-8 ℃ (33.8-46.4℉) in general, and its average temp is only about 4℃ (39.2℉) throughout the month. The precipitation is at a low level of 56mm, but the humidity is not very low. It snows or sleets sometimes, and the snow is usually powdery. It’s recommended to wear in layers with shirt, sweater and parka or down coat. Because of the freezing weather, Kyoto does not have many tourists in this month so travel cost is comparatively low.


Averages for Kyoto Weather in January

Temperature: 4°C / 39.2°F
High Temperature: 8°C / 46.4°F
Low Temperature: 1°C / 33.8°F
Humidity: 62%
Rainfall: 56 mm
Rainy Days: 9 days
Sunrise: 06:57 ~ 07:05
Sunset: 16:56 ~ 17:24

What to Wear in Kyoto in January

In the cold climate, warm clothes are the must in Kyoto. Visitors should wear thickly when going outdoors. Thermal shirts, sweaters, wool over coats or down coats, wool trousers, and thick pants, socks, and boots are great. Gloves, a scarf, a padded hat and a mask are also suggested against cold wind. But it is mostly well heated indoor, and you need to take off the thick layers after going side these places.
Kyoto Clothes in January January Wear in Kyoto

Top Things to Do in Kyoto in January

Recommendation Rate: 

There are a series of New Year celebrations in January. Visitors may follow the locals to pay the first visit in a year to those shrines, locally known as hatsumode. Fushimi Inari Taisha, Yasaka Shrine, and Gion are among the most popular shrines. It is also advised to watch an archery completion or ritual, perhaps in Sanjusangendo. Competitors are in kimono or traditional costume, and reproduce the magnificent scene of ancient times.

If it snows, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kifune Shrine, Kamigamo Shrine, etc. are the best places to appreciate snow scenery in Kyoto. Skiing is a popular sport in winter, and rural ski resorts are busy. If you prefer indoors activities, then go to visit museums in the city, such as Kyoto National Museum. Also do not miss trying traditional Kurama Onsen in cold days. Sukiyaki and more hot Japanese food are worth a taste, too.


1. The hatsumode (first shrine visit) attracts lots of people to the shrines and temples. Be prepared!
2. The entire hatsumode ritual is somewhat complicate. You’d better learn some knowledge before visit or hire a local guide if you want to experience the tradition well.
- Last updated on Mar. 14, 2023 by Nancy He -