Jul/1 - 31 Gion Festival4.6
from 7/1 '20 to 7/31 '20
＊Due to the coronavirus concerns, the Gion Festival has been scaled down and the Yamahoko Parade and some events have been canceled in 2020. Please check the official website.
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 Procession 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 Yamahoko 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 Yamahoko held on 17th and 24th. "Yamahoko of the Kyoto Gion Festival" is regarded as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. The highlight of Yamahoko are the view of gorgeous Yamahoko 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 Yamahoko. 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 Festival 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,parade,Traditional folk,women,men,shrine/temple,sightseeing,major,let's hang out!
Airport/Sta.Kyoto Sta. (about 2.7km) Google Transit
We guide this spot.
4.03 weeks ago
Very cool and interesting museum but kinda small. Still worth it if you are interested in historical temples.
5.02 months ago
Very beautiful. Well maintained. We came with a pram and there where enough slopes to bet to the Shrines. The are is lit up at night.
5.07 months ago
Beautiful, and the most visible and important shrine in Kyoto. We went on New year's day and it was completely packed. Japan being Japan, the crowd wasn't so bad as everybody was behaving.
5.02 weeks ago
Loved the view at night. Tranquil and zen.
5.08 months ago
The shrine itself isn't all that interesting, but walk up inside and go either left or right and you'll get yourself a treat to some of the most wonderful places in Japan with a unique atmosphere. Don't even bother with the food sold during Hutsumode tho (Japanese New Year shrine visit, often in the afternoon or at night during the first week of the year), just go there for the atmosphere instead.