While visiting Kyoto in the winter is an absolute delight, this city is also famous for its chilling winter cold. If you do plan on visiting during this season, adequate preparation is essential. Here are a few pointers on what to pack and wear to keep you warm and toasty while you explore.
kyoto in winter
Understanding Kyoto’s cool winter temperatures
Kyoto is located in what is known as a land basin with mountains to the north, west and east. Land basins are usually said to have tangibly higher temperatures during summer and lower temperatures during winter. Typically, during winter, temperatures reach the lowest point of about -2°C while the highest would be about 6°C. While this may not be as cold as temperatures in Tohoku or Hokkaido, the cold in Kyoto can catch visitors off guard if they are not prepared. However, if you are staying in one of the Kyoto suites at properties like Park Hotel Kyoto, the heating system will keep you nice and warm throughout your stay.
The weather during winter
Here’s good news for travellers who plan on visiting Kyoto; this city has low precipitation throughout the year which means you’ll see clear skies at most times including winter. However, the air in Kyoto gets dry during winter, plus you’ll also experience the cold dry northern wind that blows during this season; so ensure to wear plenty of layers. While it doesn’t snow heavily in Kyoto, you’ll come across fine snow dust in the air.
Clothes to pack for Kyoto in winter
If you want to be fully prepared for winter in Kyoto, here are a few items you ought to pack in your suitcase. Elastic inner wear that traps body heat and will keep you warm even when you sweat is a must. A belly band to keep your belly warm, but if you are not comfortable with this you could also opt for woollen pants. High-neck shirts or tops with an inner wool lining, knitwear, fleece, scarves and sweaters are also recommended.
How to dress for the winter
Layered clothing is the best way to go, to fight the cold in Kyoto. The first layer should be absorbent clothing that will be snug against your body so you will be warm even when you are sweating. The next layer should be clothing that allows you to move freely with woollen linings to keep you warm. For the final layer, windbreakers with a waterproof lining or jackets would be ideal.