Gion Matsuri

Sightseeing information about Gion Matsuri in Japan.

Gion Matsuri4.5

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 from 7/1 '19 to 7/31 '19


It is a festival at Kyoto Yasaka Shrine. Its history is old and has continued for more than 1100 years.
It is a large-scale festival that lasts for one month starting from Kippuiri on July 1st every year to the Ekijinja Nagoshi Matsuri Festival on the 31st, the Yoiyama on the 16th, Yamahoko Junko on the 17th has the most people and very popular, but the festival Actually there are many shrines and events during the period.

It is one of the larggest festivals in Japan that is counted as one of the top three biggest festivals such as "The Top Three Kyoto Festivals", "The Top Three Great Japanese Festivals", "The Top Three Greatest Hikiyama-matsuri Festival in Japan", and "The Top Three Beautiful Festival in Japan".

It is not a festival of only Yasaka Shrine and Ujiko (Shrine Parishner), but widely popular as a festival in Kyoto, so other than a ceremonial occasion, There are plenty of places of interesting things to look and enjoy such as a gorgeous Yamahoko Junko, Byobu (folding screen) festival, Hanagasa Junko parade (a line with Kasaboko (combined umbrella and halberd carried on floats) and Uma-osa Chigo (costumed child of festivity riding a horse) headed parading at downtown areas such as Shijyo Street), street stalls and street vendors.

The Yoiyama "Saki-Matsuri" is held for 3 days from "Yoiyoiyoiyama" on 14th to "Yoiyama" on 16th, and in the evening Komagata lantern hanged with lighted Yamaboko accompanied by the sound of Gion Ohayashi (Japanese orchestra) pulls the city. From Yoiyama 15th and 16th evening, you can stroll along and enjoy the pedestrianized streets of Karasuma-dori and Shijyo-dori.

Highlights of the festival are the 33 Yamaboko held on 17th and 24th. "Yamaboko of the Kyoto Gion Festival" is regarded as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. The highlight of Yamaboko are the view of gorgeous Yamaboko and "Tsuji-mawashi". The Naginataboko taking the lead of Yamaboko parade is called a "Moving Art Museum", which has gorgeous gold foiled Shachihoko (mythical carp with the head of a lion and the body of a fish) and Mizuhiki ( decorative Japanese cord made from twisted paper) are decorated on the front roof, phoenix by design by a famous painter of the Edo period Ito Jyakuchu is drawn at the back and decorated with Naginataboko called "Dogake" made of carpet around the 14th century.
Powerful "Tsuji-mawashi" is a turning point of Yamaboko. Approximately 10 tons of green bamboo are laid on the road to change the direction of the Yamaboko, and pouring water over it, a large number of jinrikisha pullers change direction together with the big calls from the audience.

In addition, the Gion Matsuri not only purifies evil but also has a lot of Ohayashi (Japanese orchestra) and dances to pray so that evil spirits do not do badly.

A specialty of the Gion Matsuri, "Non edible" "Chimaki" made from bamboo can be purchased during "Yoiyama" period (small festival on the eve of the main festival). "Chimaki" is an amulet of Gion Matsuri to ward off evil, so it is beneficial to decorate it at the entrance of houses.

Fee: Saki-Matsuri paid seats 3,180 yen, Ato-Matsuri paid seats 3,180 yen
Access: Hankyu Railway Karasuma Station, Kyoto Municipal Subway Shijo Station, Keihan Shijo Kawaramachi Station
Venue: Kyoto City (Yasaka Shrine, various places in Kyoto city)

PurposeFestivals,should go,easily accessible,women,men,shrine/temple,major,let's hang out!
Airport/Sta.Kyoto Sta. (about 2.7km) Google Transit


5.0a week ago

One of the main shrine in Kyoto. They have some snack stands after you entered the gate. The snacks is so nice that you'd prob gonna try to buy each of them lol. The Shrine is very nice, with friendly staff and nice view. The area on the shrine is also spacious, allowing more visitors to visit there freely. However, do be mindful that during certain occasion, such as festival, weekends, new year, etc; the place will be crowded. Like, VERY crowded.

5.0a month ago

An amazing place. I meant it! Would love to go there again. They have lots of foods stalls and souvenir shops. I suggesyed to choose their charms carefully because their price are ranged between 500 - 1,500 yen. Of you have limited budget, better buy other presents.

3.02 weeks ago

Meh. Another giant shrine loaded with food and souvenir stalls to extort tourists. Do your self a favour and spend time exploring the back streets. Much more interesting.

3.03 weeks ago

I got here quite late, so most temples were closed already. The area was not big. It's famous and it's near Gion.

5.0a week ago

I have been there during new year and they held some festival. Nice shrine.