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Mar. 10, 2021 UPDATE
Mifune Festival - 三船祭 -
Traveler Friendly
You will surely enjoy the interesting performances played on the boats!
Information
Japanese only
Languages spoken
Japanese only
PeriodThe third Sunday of May, every year
VenueOigawa River in Arashiyama
672 3 --- 0 reviews
Mar. 10, 2021 UPDATE

Mifune Festival

- 三船祭 -
Traveler Friendly
You will surely enjoy the interesting performances played on the boats!
Information
Japanese only
Languages spoken
Japanese only
672 3 --- 0 reviews
PeriodThe third Sunday of May, every year
VenueOigawa River in Arashiyama
Story & Recommendation
The Mifune Festival – A display of elegant boats on Arashiyama’s Oigawa River
The Mifune Festival was started in commemoration of the enthronement of Emperor Showa in 1928 and has been held ever since.
Held on the third Sunday of May, the Mifune Festival reenacts the boating practices of the Heian period on the Arashiyama area’s Oigawa River. Various traditional performances are played out on the boats and a lady chosen via audition takes on the role of the legendary author of The Pillow Book, Sei Shonagon.
At the festival, you will get the opportunity to see some of the beautiful, and very colorful, clothes court nobles of old would wear.
In addition to the beautiful clothes, you’ll also get to see some cool looking dragon and bird figureheads on the boats. These figureheads aren’t just there for show either, they actually denote the role of each of the boats. For instance, there are boats carrying musicians, dancers and even poets.
1Highlight
Floating Fans
Floating Fans
Japanese folding fans of all colors are floated on the river’s surface by a lady dressed in a 12 layer kimono called a junihitoe, creating the most exquisite and graceful spectacle. Watch the elegant movements of the kimono clad nobles and try to catch the fans that are sent down the river.
2Highlight
Music Offerings
Music Offerings
On one of the boats, you will find a group of musicians playing traditional Japanese court music known as gagaku for the dancers on another boat to dance to. Try listen carefully to the music as you might be surprised to find some sounds not often heard in your home country’s music.
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