Travel Info : Weather & Temperature, and What to Wear in Kyoto in December


What is the climate of Kyoto in December like ?

Visitors Question

Roughly speaking, Kyoto in December is early winter.

Late December tends to be colder.

Mainly sunny or cloudy, and rare snow and little rain.

Locals Answer

1. Kyoto’s Weather & Temperature in December

The chart above is the average high and low temperatures in Kyoto by month.

In December, as the chart shows, both average high and low temperatures are lower.
Statistically, t
o the late December, the average temperatures get lower little by little.

It has been said since many years ago that Kyoto city is in basin and famous for being chilling to the bone in winter.
But, these days, there are variations in the lowest temperature (0°C to 6°C, 32°F to 43°F), and in the highest temperature (6°C to 15°C,43°F to 59°F) during December. So, actually, there are days when it is not so much cold in the daytime of December. It depends on the day or the year. (
In the case of 2020, it suddenly got cold in mid December)

Next, the chart above shows average rainfall in Kyoto by month.

Statistically, we have little rains in December.

Fortunately, it is not rainy seasons or typhoon season.

For your reference, the average probability of the weather in Kyoto in December is the following, according to Japan Metorological Association.

Sunny Cloudy Rainy Snowy
64% 9% 16% 11%
Sunny Cloudy Rainy Snowy
64% 9% 16% 11%

It seems that the probability of sunny weather is very high in December. For my experience, it seldom snows, and even if it does, it doesn’t last for long in Kyoto city.

2. What to Wear in Kyoto in December

So, what to wear in Kyoto in December ?

Let’s  take a look at pictures, taken in a day in mid December, 2018.
(the temperatures of the day : highest: 11.7°C≈53°F, lowest: 4.9°C≈41°F)

People appear to wear neck warmer (scarf) and warm jackets or coats. Both pictures were tanken late in the morning.

Please note that, Kyoto in December, the sun rises around 7:00 a.m. and sets around 4:50 p.m., so, it gets colder in the morning and after the sunset.

In the case of 2020, it was relatively warm in early December, so we don’t need neck warmer in the daytime. But, it suddenly got cold in mid December, so I was also wearing thermal underwear.

In addition, it is not that we never had rains at all, sometimes we had. It woul be useful to take compact umbrella with you.

If you take a bicycle, you must need gloves in addition to neck warmer.

3. Summary : Kyoto in December

Although Kyoto in December is not comfortable climate such as spring or autumn, but if you are OK with cold temperature, winter season (December) is also recommended because of little rains and not so much cold temperature in the daytime on some days recently. (note : basically cold !)