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


What is the climate of Kyoto in January like ?

Visitors Question

Roughly speaking, Kyoto in January is in the mid winter.

Especially colder in the morning and night.

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

Locals Answer

1. Kyoto’s Weather & Temperature in January

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

In January, as the chart shows, both high and low temperatures are lowest.
Statistically, around late January to early February in Kyoto, the temperatures are the lowest of the year.

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 (-1°C to 4°C, 30 to 39°F), and in the highest temperature (5°C to 12°C,41 to 54 °F) during a winter day. So, actually, there are days when it is not so much cold in the daytime of winter season. It depends on the day or the year. (For this year, on some winter days of 2021, it is really cold in the early morning for me.)

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

Statistically, we have little rains in January.

Fortunately, it is not rainy seasons or typhoon season.

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

Sunny Cloudy Rainy Snowy
42% 9% 14% 35%
Sunny Cloudy Rainy Snowy
42% 9% 14% 35%

The probability of the snow is higher than I thought. 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 January

So, what to wear in Kyoto in January ?

Let’s  take a look at pictures, taken in a day in January, 2019.
(the temperatures of the day : highest: 11.4°C≈52°F, lowest: 0.5°C≈33°F)

Tourists and locals appear to wear turtleneck sweater and down jacket. Both pictures are tanken in the daytime.

Please note that, Kyoto in January, the sun rises around 7:00 a.m. and sets around 5:10 p.m., so, it is colder in the morning and after the sunset.

Actually, in the case of 2021, sometimes it was cold even in the daytime and windy, so I often wear 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 and neck warmer (scarf).

3. Summary : Kyoto in January

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