Imperial Palace & Teramachi Mar. 16, 2016 UPDATE
One of the Three Main Festivals in Kyoto from Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Jinja Shrine
Aoi Matsuri Festival/ 葵祭
Venue: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Shimogamo Jinja Shrine, Kamigamo Jinja Shrine
May 15th, every year
Known as one of the three main festivals in Kyoto, Aoi Matsuri is a large parade in Kyoto, in which over 500 people dressed in the aristocratic style of the Heian Period (794-1185) walk from the Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Jinja Shrine. Aoi is Japanese for species of wild ginger, and the festival is named after the Aoi leaves that are worn by the members of the procession (referred to japan-guide.com). This festival is an important ritual for both Shimogamo and Kamigamo Jinja Shrines. The proces...moresion will depart from the Kyoto Imperial Palace at 10:30am and slowly proceed to Kamigamo Jinja Shrine via Shimogamo Jinja Shrine.
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The role of Saio-dai, the heroin of Aoi Matsuri, has been played by an unmarried woman selected from citizens since 1956. The Saio-dai is based on Saio, a Heian Period imperial princess who served and attached to both the Kamigamo and Shimogamo Jinja Shrines.
People wearing Heian Period clothes walk along with an ox carriage from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Jinja Shrine via Shimogamo Jinja Shrine (8km in total). It is beautiful as the ox carriage is decorated by wisteria flowers and historically imperial envoys had ridden in it.
Aoi Matsuri Festival
|Address||Kyoto Tourist Information Center (JR Kyoto Station on the 2nd floor/ 8:30am - 7:00pm) *Please note that Kyoto Tourist Information Center only takes the reservation for reserved seats.
Kyoto Imperial Palace: 3 Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto Gyoen, Kyoto
Kamigamo Jinja Shrine: 339 Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto
Shimogamo Jinja Shrine: 59 Shimogamo Izumigawacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
|Directions||To Kyoto Imperial Palace: 5-minute walk from Marutamachi Station by Subway Karasuma Line
To Shimogamo Jinja Shrine: 12-minute walk from Demachiyanaghi Station by Keihan Demachiyanaghi Station
【From JR Kyoto Station】
From JR Kyoto Station, take the city bus line 205 toward Shijo Kawaramachi & Kitaoji Bus Terminal and get off at Shimogamo Jinja-mae. (30 min.)
To Kamigamo Jinja Shrine: 3-minute walk from Kamigamo-Misono-bashi (Take Kyoto city bus #9 from JR Kyoto Station and get off at Kamigamo-Misono-bashi)
|Event time||May 15th 10:30am - 3:30pm
|Cancellations||It will be postponed until the following day in case of rain|
|Notes||Parade seating tickets are available (￥2,050) at Kyoto City Tourism Association. (https://www.kyokanko.or.jp/aoi/kanran.html) Please visit Kyoto Tourist Information Center in JR Kyoto Station on the 2nd floor (8:30am - 7:00pm). Two reserved areas are available for Aoi Matsuri: 1) Kyoto Imperial Palace (10:30am) and 2) Shimogamo Jinja Shrine (11:40am). Please note that the tickets are not refundable when the festival is postponed until the following day in case of rain.|
*Parade seating tickets (￥2,050) are available at Kyoto City Tourism Association (https://www.kyokanko.or.jp/aoi/kanran.html)
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
|Friendly for Overseas Visitors||
If you purchase the reserved seat (￥2,050), a brochure written both in English and Japanese would come along 8available onsite).
|Information||Brochure written in Japanese and English is available if you purchase the reserved seat|
|Languages spoken||Japanese, English ( not always available)|