May/15, 2019 Kyoto Aoi Festival4.5
from 5/15 '19 to 5/15 '19
The Aoi Festival is known as one of the three major festivals of Kyoto along with the "Gion Festival" and the "Festival of the Ages".
From The Kyoto Imperial Palace to Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, over 500 people go walk in elegant procession like the Heian picture scrolls, through Miyako-oji Street.
It is the ancient festival, and all the procession is decorated with bamboo leaves.
Kurabemae Ashizoroe-shiki at Kamigamo Shrine
Date: May 1, 13:00-
It is a ceremony to decide the relative merits and combinations of horses prior to the performance of "Kamo Horse Racing" on May 5. This is a heroic Shrine ritual and is registered with the Kyoto City Intangible Cultural Property.
Yabusame Shinji at Shimogamo Shrine
Date: May 3, 13:00 - 15:30
It is a Shrine ritual to pray for safe journey of Aoi Festival.
At the riding ground in the "Tadasu no Mori", an archer wearing a costume of the duke riding a galloping horse shoots a target.
It is a very spectacular and popular event of shooting out while running a horse.
Saio-Dai Misogi Ceremony at Shimogamo Shrine
Date: May 4, 10:00-
"Saio-Dai Misogi Ceremony" is the ritual that Saio-dai（the heroine of Aoi Matsuri）and forty women who participate in the Nyonin-retsu（women's march）involve in soak their hands in the Mitarashi-ike pond and purify themselves. It takes place at Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine every other year.（In 2019, it was held at Shimogamo Shrine.）
Busya Shinji at Shimogamo Shrine
Date: May 5, 11:00-
"Busya Shinji" is a Shrine ritual to purify the street of the "Aoi Festival" to keep out of harm's way.
The archer exorcise evil spirits by making a sound pulling a bow string called "Hikime Ceremony". And "Yagoshi Ceremony"（fly the arrow through the roof of the tower gate）, "Oomato Ceremony"（shoot a big target）, "Momote Ceremony"（shoot arrows one after another）are held.
Kamo Kurabe Uma at Kamigamo Shrine
Date: May 5, 10:00-
A jockey dressed in the costume of "bugaku"(court dance and music) rides on a horse and splits into left and right. After the ritual, at around 2PM, "Kyouchi" (a contest to compete for speed) begins at the riding ground in Kamigamo Shrine.
Mikage Festival at Shimogamo Shrine
Date: May 12, 9:30-
It is a Shrine ritual to welcome the spirits to Shimogamo Shrine from Mt.Mikage at the foot of Mt.Hiei ahead of Aoi Festival.
Around 4PM, "Kirishiba Shinji"(Shinto ritual) is performed and the dance of "Azuma Asobi no mai" dedicated to the gods.
PurposeFestivals,,parade,spiritual places,world heritage,Japanese resort,shrine/temple,sightseeing,major
Airport/Sta.Demachi-yanagi Sta. (about 1km) Google Transit
We guide this spot.
4.02 weeks ago
Historic site that is set in a lovely forest setting. There had just been a wedding celebration and as we were walking along the long path to the shrine a large number of people were leaving. There is a large plaque at the entrance in both Japanese and English but unfortunately there was no more of the details available in English that I could find. I understand there is some kind of archery activities that take place on horseback along the long path but couldn't find anything out about it.
5.03 months ago
V recommend to come here as it’s a v nice walk through the whole area. Beautiful place with nice landscape and there is a small water place where one can buy a fortune paper n soak it to read your fortune. There is a temple for beauty where gals will draw pic on the mirror shaped wood plank and wish for beauty . It’s actually free entry. Plus u can walk to a river where it’s calm n wonderful to just see the ducks n birds enjoying themselves. Walk across the river via the stones. There is a shop that sell a charm with beautiful sound which this is a first time to see.
5.02 months ago
This shrine is beautiful and full of history (a sign at the shrine indicates that it's been a sacred site for over 2,000 years.) Because it's so large and also somewhat removed from the main tourist track, it seldom feels crowded unless there's a special event.
4.0a month ago
Small but beautiful.
It's not a famous shrine in Kyoto, but pretty cool place with some traditional Japanese activities, such as Kendo, or archery.
It's also have mizu omikuji, a piece of paper on which your fortune, it's blank at first but when you put it in the water (water god), your fortune will appear like magic.
Take a try.
4.0a week ago
Really nice, but not as impressive as some other temples in Kyoto.