Mar. 09, 2018 UPDATE

Okasai Festival experience at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Beautiful cherry blossoms of the Okasai as seen by Sharing Kyoto writers.
Miyuki[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Finally, my most favorite season is coming! Traditional spring event 'Okasai' was hold in Hirano Shrine which is located near Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Blooming of cherry blossom means the end of the cold and long winter, and coming spring! Pink color of cherry blossom makes us warm. I think, spring and cherry blossom season are really loved by most of Japanese.

▼Click here for more details about the event

Hirano Shrine is a very famous shrine as a cherry blossom spot in Kyoto, so many tourists are coming to enjoy the Hirano Shrine cherry blossoms every year.

Food stalls were standing on both sides of the way to the main hall, and it is a really beautiful road covered with cherry blossom trees.

People are watching cherry blossoms while eating food or drinking. It is called ‘ohanami’ in Japanese and it is a popular way of seeing cherry blossoms among the Japanese.

We could enjoy cherry blossoms before the event. Some fresh green leaves are appearing bit by bit, it has a different beauty compared with full blooming cherry blossom trees.

A ceremony started at 12 pm. A portable shrine was put in front of the main hall in order to prepare the ceremony. After the ceremony, procession will start with this portable shrine.

The ceremony is held to pray for successful completion of the cherry blossom festival. A divine soul is transferred into the portable shrine

After the ceremony, the portable shrine was relocated to the starting point of the procession.

Finally, the procession was started

Each group of people who are wearing various type of Japanese traditional costume accompany the procession of the portable shrine. The chief priest is riding the blue car behind the portable shrine.

The gorgeous procession was departed from Hirano Shrine while surrounded with a cheer by visitors. They go around Imadegawa street, Badai street or Kinkakuji area and will be back 2 hours later.

A comment from the staff
Hirano Shrine is one of my favorite places in Kyoto. The shrine is not so big, but is surrounded with rich green and local atmosphere. Especially, spring season is amazing. I had also visited night time to watch cherry blossom night lighting, and it was really fantastic. The Okasai event had been wrapped by glamorous atmosphere more than usual.

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