June - Hydrangea Festival
You may think that Japan during the rainy season is not good for outdoor sightseeing, but you have to know that there are also many scenic spots that come to life here in this season. One of those that become beautiful in the rainy season is the hydrangea flower. Sanzen-in, a temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, is one of the most noted places when it comes to this flower as it has about 3,000 hydrangea plants all over the temple. The Hydrangea Festival is held here for about a month from June to July each year, with 1,000 different types of hydrangea in full bloom within the temple premises. Various kinds of hydrangea bloom one after another, so if you suddenly decide to go there during that one-month period, you will surely get to enjoy the sight of these beautiful flowers.
July - Gion Matsuri
The Gion Matsuri is Kyoto’s biggest annual event and one of Japan’s most important annual events. It’s also a huge summer block party in which locals and visitors gather to promenade in colorful yukata robes and gorge themselves on street food and beer. Among several events, "Yoiyama," a parade of 23 decorated floats is especially famous. Shijo Street, the center of Kyoto is blocked, and festival floats mounted with a decorative halberd called "Yamahoko" are pulled by the citizens, parading in the Shijo Area. There are also a lot of stalls in the area, allowing you to enjoy the food of the Japanese festival.
August - Gozan no Okuribi (Daimonji Fire Festival)
This is the highlight of the month of August. More commonly known as the “Daimonji Fire Festival,” this is when they set those massive Chinese characters on the hills around town ablaze. The main mountain is the eponymous Daimonji, which towers over Ginkaku-ji Temple and the rest of northern Higashiyama. It’s set alight promptly at 8 pm, and the other four mountains are set alight in counterclockwise fashion every 15 minutes. The best places to view the scene include from the east side of Yoshida-yama, parts of the Kyoto Gyoen (Imperial Palace Park), parts of the Kamo-gawa Riverbank, and, if you can afford it, a hotel rooftop beer garden.