May/15, Kyoto Aoi Festival

Sightseeing information about May/15, Kyoto Aoi Festival in Japan.

May/15, Kyoto Aoi Festival4.5

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 from 5/15 '20 to 5/15 '20


※Due to the coronavirus concerns, almost of all events have been canceled. Only the ritual by priests will be held at Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine.

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,instagrammable,parade,spiritual places,world heritage,Japanese resort,shrine/temple,sightseeing,major
Airport/Sta.Demachi-yanagi Sta. (about 1km) Google Transit


5.0a month ago

Shimogamo-jinja is one of Japans oldest shinto shrines. It was established in the 600’s (7th century) and it is closely associated with the Kamigamo, another shrine located only about 3km away. The two shrines were built to protect the Kyoto city. And they are now listed on UNESCO as one of the Historic Monuments in Kyoto. It’s nice to stroll around the shrine as it has many greens which trees could be up to 600 years old. Walking around the shrine gives you great energy at the same time very relaxing. Definitely worth stopping by at this shrine as it’s one of the typical and outstanding design.

5.010 months ago

2020 is the "Year of the Rat", Large Ema at Various Shrines in Kyoto.

Rat is the first in the 12-year-cycle of Chinese zodiac signs. People born in the year of rat are generally born with the zodiac rat characteristics. They are believed to be very industrious and thrifty, diligent and positive. They love to enshrine and collect. They have a keen intuition and can foretell the danger. They can deal with the money carefully and have a good financial luck.

4.011 months ago

A lovely shrine surrounded by a small forest with a small but ancient stream bed running through it. During the late Spring you can attend a festival here with horse back riding and Japanese archery performances. The main shrine has fortunes that only appear when you dip the paper in water-very magical

5.08 months ago

This is the oldest shrine in Kyoto. It had built before Kyoto was the capital. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. The most beautiful part of this shrine is the English support. You can find a lot of English explanations in everywhere.

5.09 months ago

A quiet shrine where walking put you at peace and calm yourself. Definitely a place to visit while staying in Kyoto.