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Apr. 21, 2021 UPDATE
Kifune Festival - 貴船祭 -
Traveler Friendly
Many foreign visitors join this festival! Although no English brochure is available, a water written oracle called “Mizuuramikuji” in multiple languages is popular among visitors.
Information
Japanese only
Languages spoken
Japanese only
PeriodJune 1st, every year ※The ritual will be held only for those involved, and there will be no public attendance or    portable shrines in 2021.
VenueKifune Shrine
1104 12 --- 0 reviews
Apr. 21, 2021 UPDATE

Kifune Festival

- 貴船祭 -
Traveler Friendly
Many foreign visitors join this festival! Although no English brochure is available, a water written oracle called “Mizuuramikuji” in multiple languages is popular among visitors.
Information
Japanese only
Languages spoken
Japanese only
1104 12 --- 0 reviews
PeriodJune 1st, every year ※The ritual will be held only for those involved, and there will be no public attendance or    portable shrines in 2021.
VenueKifune Shrine
Story & Recommendation
The Kifune Shrine’s most important festival of the year
Located in the north of Kyoto City, the Kifune Shrine enshrines the deity of water Taka Okami-no-Kami.
As water is the source of life for human beings and Taka Okami-no-Kami is believed to provide rain, sun and clouds, they are also worshipped as the giver of life.
Kifune Shrine is the head shrine of around 450 Kifune shrines across Japan. Held every June 1, the Kifune Festival is the most important festival of the year for the shrines and is held to pray for rain fall and a good harvest.
The festival begins in the main hall of the shrine where an elegant performance of imperial court music and dances is carried out. A portable shrine is then carried from the main hall toward the Okumiya shrine located behind the main shrine.
In the Okumiya, children join the ceremony and go around a rock in the shape of a boat to pray for their health and growth.
Shinto music and dances based on one of the religion’s myths are then performed as an offering by a head priest and shrine parishioners from Shimane Prefecture.
In total, the festival continues for about 7 hours.
1Highlight
Imperial Court Dance and Music Offering
Imperial Court Dance and Music Offering
After the offering of Shinto-derived music, imperial court dances and music are performed as offerings. The program is subject to change and one year an offering using one of the most famous works from Vietnam called “Saho Konju” was performed. This is one of the biggest highlights of the festival and is a must see.
2Highlight
Carrying of the Portable Mikoshi Shrine
Carrying of the Portable Mikoshi Shrine
Official participants in the festival carry a portable shrine that enshrines the Kifune Shrine’s deity around the town of Kibune. Marked by big crowds and lots of chanting, this is certainly one of the livelier sections of the festival.
3Let's join!
Praying for the Health and Wellbeing of your Children
Praying for the Health and Wellbeing of your Children
In one section of the festival, children walk around a boat-shaped rock to pray that they grow up healthy and strong. Visitors with general admission tickets can also join this ritual.
4Let's join!
Shinto Music Offering – Izumo Kagura
Shinto Music Offering – Izumo Kagura
The festival also has a lively song and dance offering based on one of the Shinto religion’s myths performed by a head priest and shrine parishioners from Shimane Prefecture. This offering has been given every year for the last 40 years. While you cannot join in the festivities yourself, it’s still a very worthwhile event to witness.
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