Aoi Matsuri | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

Kyoto Station 

[Aoi Matsuri]

As elegant as a Heian picture scroll

A festival with a 1500 years of continuous history stretching from the Heian period all the way to modern times. The highlight of the festival is the "Roto no Gi", a tasteful Heian-period dynastic parade which follows a route of some 8 kilometers from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines. The parade recreates the attire and accouterments of Heian nobility as they would have appeared in olden times, so it’s as if the re-enactors had marched straight out of a Heian picture scroll. When the parade arrives at the two shrines, an imperial envoy offers up a religious address in a ritual called "Shato no Gi", and traditional Japanese courtly dances ("azuma asobi-no-mai") and other devotions are performed in the presence of the deity. Also, rituals involving horse archery ("yabusame") and various other ceremonies take place at the two shrines in the run-up to the actual parade day. Paid spectator seats are available on the approach to the Kyoto Imperial Gardens and Shimogamo Shrine so that the parade can be watched in comfort.
Date May 15th, 2019 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
* Postponed on 16th in the event of rain: decision made early on the morning of the day
* The Aoi Matsuri is scheduled to be held every year on May 15th.
Location Start: 3 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto (Kyoto Imperial Palace)
End: 339 Kamigamo Motoyama, Kita Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto (Kamigamo Shrine)
Phone +81-75-213-1717 (Kyoto City Tourism Association) (English available)
Paid spectator seat 2,700 yen (All seats by reservation. Pamphlet included.)
Access Start: Take the Karasuma Line of Kyoto municipal subway from "Kyoto Station" of JR Tokaido Shinkansen for approx. 10 minutes, alight at "Marutamachi Station" and walk for approx. 5 minutes.
End: Take the Kyoto City Bus bound for Nijojo / Nishikamoshako from "Kyoto Station" of JR Tokaido Shinkansen for approx. 38 minutes and alight at "Kamigamo Misonobashi".
* Travel time by bus is only an estimate. The bus may be delayed or be suspended according to traffic conditions, etc.

updated on Apr 24, 2019

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