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Apr. 07, 2020 UPDATE

Jidai Matsuri – Festival of the Ages

- 時代祭 -
Traveler Friendly
English audio guides are offered, however, only at the paid seating area on Oike-dori Street.
Information
English
Languages spoken
Basic English
PeriodOctober 22, 2020
VenueImperial Palace, Heian Shrine
1601 14 --- 0 reviews
Apr. 07, 2020 UPDATE

Jidai Matsuri – Festival of the Ages

- 時代祭 -
Traveler Friendly
English audio guides are offered, however, only at the paid seating area on Oike-dori Street.
Information
English
Languages spoken
Basic English
1601 14 --- 0 reviews
PeriodOctober 22, 2020
VenueImperial Palace, Heian Shrine
Story & Recommendation
Jidai Matsuri – A Magnificent Procession that Brings Kyoto’s History into the Present
Kyoto’s Jidai Matsuri is one of the city’s "Three Great Festivals." Originally held to celebrate the 1,100 year anniversary of the capital moving to Heian-Kyo (modern-day Kyoto), this relatively new festival was only founded in 1895. While the festival was first held as a celebration of Heian-Kyo’s anniversary, the procession–the centerpiece of the festival–was also meant to be a way for people to learn about the customs and traditional crafts of Kyoto stretching from the Meiji era (1868-1912) back to the Heian period (794-1185). As the festival was a once a year chance for the deified emperors Kanmu and Komei to tour the city and see the townsfolk, the festival came to contain its shinko-retsu procession, which centers around a portable shrine. Processions were gradually added over the years and what was initially a festival of just six processions, became the 2,000 people strong, 20 procession long festival that we know today. The festival travels back through time, starting with the Meiji era and ending with the Heian period. In many of the processions, you’ll also spot some of Japan’s most famous historical figures, including Murasaki Shikibu who wrote The Tale of Genji, and one of the most successful samurai in history, Oda Nobunaga. So if you’re a Japanese history buff, then make sure to not miss this festival. Even if you’re not too knowledgeable about Japanese history, you’ll be able to witness the course of Japanese history through the various magnificent costumes and traditional garbs featured in the processions.
  • Sharing Kyoto Staff
    Yumemi's Comment
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Details
Event time
The procession leaves the Imperial Palace at 12 p.m. and arrives at the Heian Jingu Shrine at 2:30 p.m.
Cancellations
If postponed because of rain, the festival will take place on the 23rd.
Price range
Paid seating: \2,500 (inc. tax)-¥4,100 (inc. tax)
Credit cards
Not accepted
Other
If you want to take photos, you’ll be able to get good shots without a paid seating ticket if you get up early and wait outside the Kyoto Imperial Palace. If you don’t plan on taking photos or are fine with seeing the festival from afar, then there’s no need to wait.
English website also available
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