Kyoto is an irresistible magnet for tourists year-round, and one question that many visiting have asked is where does one go to see a more peaceful side of the city. While it may seem challenging, it is possible to experience the full beauty of Kyoto and discover its hidden gems even during high season. Read on to discover a side of Kyoto where you can experience tranquil respites.
The Gozan Okuribi is one of the four main traditional events in Kyoto. It translates to “sending fire” and is a solemn ritual for guiding departed souls back to the heavens. These fires take the shape of five figures and characters on the mountains surrounding Kyoto’s west, north, and east. Held during Obon season in Japan, Kyoto’s Obon falls in mid-August, spanning four days. Families believe their ancestors return during this time, and on the last day, the souls return to the afterlife. Across Japan, there’s a custom of sending them off with fire, but Kyoto’s unique aspect is crafting large-scale characters on the mountains. This activity is open to the public and often seen as a reflective moment for those who participate. We recommend visitors to experience this to discover a sense of inner peace.
If you’re keen to delve into Kyoto’s distinctive beer scene, the Kamishichiken Beer Garden is a must-visit destination. As is typical in Kyoto, beer gardens are only open during the summer, with August to early September marking your last chance to savour this seasonal delight. What sets Kamishichiken Beer Garden apart is its authentic Omotenashi experience—a cherished form of Japanese hospitality that locals take immense pride in. Here, you’ll be treated to the presence of Maikos and Geikos, who grace the venue every night, showcasing their unique style of hospitality to each guest. Nestled in the peaceful Kamishichiken district, this beer garden provides a soothing ambience to savour a range of unique beers, be it a solitary experience or enjoyed with dear friends. Embrace the tranquil charm of Kyoto’s exceptional beer haven on a lovely summer night. We recommend booking a table in advance to ensure seating in this private setting.
If you’re looking to explore Kyoto by night, we recommend visiting a selection of bars in the neighbourhood including Apotheca and Bee’s Knees. In addition to serving a wide range of curated cocktails, each bar is designed for an easygoing and intimate setting for guests to wind down after a long day.
For you staying at Miru Kyoto Nishiki, we recommend visiting Apotheca. Specialising in a ‘medicinal’ concept, Apotheca’s mixologists are skilled in prescribing concoctions with recipes that serve as ‘remedies’ for guests.
On the other hand, for you staying at Miru Kyoto Gion, we recommend visiting Bee’s Knees, a prohibition-era bar that offers playful twists on classic cocktails. With limited seating available, the bar is the perfect spot for a night cap.
Whether you’re looking to experience Kyoto’s rich cultural traditions or find a peaceful spot to enjoy a night cap, visiting any of these places would be a great addition to your summer itinerary. If you’re looking for more suggestions or information, visit our front desk staff, who can assist in curating your Kyoto travel plans.