logo of whats up in Kyoto
Event Calendar
Experiences Shopping Sleeping Getting Around Submit Event
Highlight of the Month Monthly Highlights - Archives Experiences Restaurants - Japanese Restaurants - Vegan/Vegetarian Shopping Sleeping Getting Around Submit Event

Welcome to Kyoto!

About What's up in Kyoto

What's up in Kyoto is the first English event calendar for Kyoto that showcases a wide range of events in Kyoto: from the traditional religious ceremonies at shrines and temples, to modern dance and j-pop concerts, to exhibitions in tiny museums located in old Kyoto machiya. We hope that you find many events in Kyoto that make your stay in this beautiful city even more fun!

How What's up in Kyoto Was Born

When I came to Kyoto in summer 2013, I was enchanted by the city and its people, by Kyoto's culture and sights. I visited many of Kyoto's famous events, like the Big 3 Festivals: Aoi, Gion, and Jidai matsuri; I prayed at the Daimonji fires and rang the temple bells at New Year's Eve, I performed hatsumode and drove out winter's demons at setsubun. After a while I realised that the Big 12 are just the tip of the iceberg, that there is so much more to see and do in Kyoto with its many centuries of history. Unfortunately, there is not much out there in English, most of the information is only available in Japanese...

So, I decided to change that, and this is how What's up in Kyoto was born in 2016, with the goal to bring all of Kyoto's events to an English speaking audience. We've come a long way since then, but many more steps lie ahead. I hope you enjoy our events and all else related to What's up in Kyoto!

Iris Reinbacher, PhD, founder and CEO of What's up in Kyoto

A Brief History of What's up in Kyoto

June 2020: Sent out our first monthly newsletter

November 2019: Allowed advertisements for Kyoto events and businesses

December 2018: Added the experiences page

Spring 2018: New logo design and revamp of pages

The current logo of What's up in Kyoto.

What's up in Kyoto logo 2018.

August 2017: Started the What's up in Kyoto twitter page with weekly (now biweekly) tweets about current events

Summer 2017: Added pages for hotels, restaurants, souvenir shopping and getting around

May 2017: Started the What's up in Kyoto facebook page with a daily event highlight

Spring 2017: Switched to tockify.com as an external provider for the calendar

January 2017: Started the posts about Monthly Highlights and the respective archives

Summer 2016: Started the website and the main event calendar

The first logo of What's up in Kyoto.

The first, very basic What's up in Kyoto logo in 2016.


Our mother company is Seisen Media Ltd., which is fully owned by Iris Reinbacher. All webdesign is from scratch and done by them.

The calendar behind What's up in Kyoto is provided by tockify.com. We love the features of tockify and how easy it is to customize and use. Their customer service is outstanding, and we cannot praise or recommend tockify too much.

After using a rather plain and basic logo for the first two years or so, we turned to a professional for the current one. It was designed by Masahiko Honjo, a renowned artist who makes shin hanga woodblock prints and lives, works, and teaches in Kyoto.

We use mailchimp for our newsletter.

...and a wee bit about copyright

The images on What's up in Kyoto come from various sources. Most of them were provided by the event organisers, event venues or museums themselves or were taken by the team of What's up in Kyoto. We occasionally use free images from Photo-AC, unsplash or wikimedia commons. In general, please assume that any image on this page is copyrighted. If you'd like to reuse them, please contact us beforehand. Also, if you find one of your images on this website and believe we are using it without consent, please also contact us. Thank you!