The following is an overview of Kyoto Prefecture’s climate in December. First of all, Kyoto City is located in a basin, so it is a little colder in winter than Tokyo and Osaka, etc. You can enjoy walking around the city with beautiful autumn leaves until early December, but it gradually gets colder and you will need a coat. On the other hand, Miyama-cho, located about an hour and a half north of Kyoto City by bus, is colder than Kyoto City, and it sometimes snows. Maizuru City on the Sea of Japan side also has occasional snowfall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Kyoto in December2

Bamboo grove lit up at night during Arashiyama Hanatouro festival, Kyoto, Japan = Shutterstock

Can I see autumn leaves in December?

In early December, you can see the autumn leaves in Kyoto Prefecture. Especially in Kyoto City, you can enjoy the autumn foliage at many temples and other places.

Do you have any recommendations for sightseeing in Kyoto after mid-December?

Every year in mid-December, a big illuminations festival called “Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatoro” is held in Arashiyama. After mid-December, the autumn leaves are no longer visible in Kyoto City, but this event is sure to be a wonderful memory.

When does it start snowing in Kyoto?

In the center of Kyoto City, there is almost no snow in December. In Miyama Town, north of Kyoto City, and Maizuru City on the Sea of Japan side, there is some snowfall from early December. However, even in Miyama and Maizuru, snow does not begin to fall in earnest until January.

Weather in Kyoto (Kyoto City, Miyama Town, Maizuru City) in early December

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Kyoto in December3

Kyoto, Japan – December 5, 2017: Tourist selfie with bamboo forest of Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan = Shutterstock

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Kyoto in December5

December 4,2017 :The Otowa Waterfall at Kiyomizudera Temple. Tourists use cups to drink a water that people believe cause longevity, success in school and a fortunate love life = Shutterstock

average temperature
Highest temperature
(Lowest temperature)
Total precipitation
(Total snowfall depth)
Kyoto 8.7℃  (42.3°F)
13.3℃  (55.9°F)
4.7℃ (40.5°F)
18.8mm (0.74inch)
0cm (0inch)
Miyama 5.7℃  (42.3°F)
11.1℃  (52.0°F)
1.9℃ (35.42°F)
38.8mm (1.53inch)
3cm (1.18inch)
Maizuru 7.7℃  (45.9°F)
12.3℃  (54.1°F)
4.0℃ (39.2°F)
49.3mm (1.94inch)
2cm (0.79inch)

※ Source: All figures are the average for 30 years of 1991-2020 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Weather in Kyoto (Kyoto City, Miyama Town, Maizuru City) in mid-December

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Kyoto in December6

December 19, 2018. The Yasaka Shrine in Gion = Shutterstock

average temperature
Highest temperature
(Lowest temperature)
Total precipitation
(Total snowfall depth)
Kyoto 6.9℃  (44.4°F)
13.3℃  (52.2°F)
3.3 ℃ (38.0°F)
15.7mm (0.62inch)
0cm (0inch)
Miyama 3.9℃  (39.0°F)
8.9 ℃  (48.0°F)
0.6℃ (33.1°F)
36.7mm (1.45inch)
7cm (2.76inch)
Maizuru 5.9℃  (42.6°F)
10.1℃  (50.2°F)
2.7℃ (36.9°F)
50.5mm (19.9inch)
7cm (2.76inch)

※Source:  All figures are the average for 30 years of 1991-2020 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Weather in Kyoto (Kyoto City, Miyama Town, Maizuru City) in late December

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Kyoto in December7

Kyoto, Japan – December 25, 2018: East gate of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and people shopping in Tenjin-ichi antique market = Shutterstock

average temperature
Highest temperature
(Lowest temperature)
Total precipitation
(Total snowfall depth)
Kyoto 6.1℃  (43.0°F)
10.4℃  (50.7°F)
2.6℃ (36.7°F)
22.9mm (0.90inch)
2cm (0.79inch)
Miyama 3.1℃  (37.6°F)
7.7℃  (45.9°F)
-0.1℃ (31.82°F)
51.9mm (2.04inch)
17cm (6.7inch)
Maizuru 5.0℃  (41.0°F)
9.0℃  (48.2°F)
1.9℃ (35.4°F)
63.8mm (25.1inch)
15cm (0.74inch)

※ Source: All figures are the average for 30 years of 1991-2020 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

What to wear in Japan during winter

For winter clothes, please refer to the following article.

Monthly weather in Kyoto

Below are articles about the weather in Kyoto. Click on the month of interest to see articles about that month.

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December

Weather in tourist destinations around Japan

Below are pages showing the climates of various regions in Japan at the same time of the year.

Tokyo Osaka Kyoto
Hokkaido Sendai Nagano
Nagoya Hiroshima Fukuoka
Okinawa

 

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