Nov. 15, 2018 UPDATE


- 桜花祭 -
PeriodApril 10th, every year
VenueHirano Shrine
The festival of Cherry blossom, a symbol of Japan at Hirano Shrine
Hirano Shrine holds Cherry Blossom Festival every year on 10th April. The origin of the festival goes back in 985 when Emperor Kazan visited the shrine and ordered a special festival in hope of prosperity for his descendants. The festival was revived in 1921 and has been continued up to the present. The festival includes the cherry blossom festival starting at 10:00, the ceremony at the mausoleum of Emperor Kazan at 11:00, and the ceremony of a procession of the portable shrine at 12:00. About 200 acolytes surrounding the portable shrine start parading through the neighboring area from 13:00. It is said that initial blooming of Sakigake-Sakura, endemic to Hirano Shrine, in the middle of March is a sign of the start of a cherry blossom season. Additionally, about 60 kinds of cherry blossoms originated from the shrine can be viewed, such as Hirano-imose Sakura, Hirano-nioi Sakura, Kinugasa Sakura and Toppane Sakura. ▼Click here for Writer's Blog
Ceremonies are held inside the shrine in the morning. A divine soul is transferred into the portable shrine after being purified and moved 10 km up to the mausoleum of Emperor Kazan in order to pray for successful completion of the cherry blossom festival.
The procession of the portable shrine
The procession of the portable shrine
The ceremony of a procession of the portable shrine starts at 12:00 and first purifies the portable shrine as well as accompanying acolytes. A parade then starts proceeding at a slow pace from the neighboring area, to Imadegawa street in the south; Badai street in the west; the Kinkakuji area in the north; and Senbon street in the east between 13:00 and 15:30. The parade is joined by men in a costume of warriors conducting horseback archery as well as ladies in kimono, like a picture scroll of an ancient era.
3Let's join!
The shrine is lit up from sunset to 9pm during the season of the end of March to April (a detailed schedule is decided by blooming of cherry trees)
3.7 experience4.0 access3.0 photogenic4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.7 experience4.0 access3.0 photogenic4.0
My most favorite season is spring among four seasons. 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 and watching cherry blossom is a necessary event to the Japanese, so please enjoy this Japanese traditional festival. If you don’t have opportunity to visit Hirano Shrine, there are a possibility to see the ceremony of a procession of the portable shrine around Imadegawa street, Badai street or Kinkakuji area!
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Okasai / 桜花祭
Phone +81 75-461-4450
Address 1 Hiranomiya motocho, Kita ku, Kyoto city
Directions 3 minutes by walk from Kinugasa kou mae bus stop on Kyoto city bus, #205 or #50 form Kyoto station
Event time 10:00 The cherry blossom festival starting 11:00 The ceremony at the mausoleum of Emperor Kazan 12:00 The procession of the portable shrine
Cancellations Cherry Blossom Festival can be rained out (a decision is made on the day of the event).
Price range
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Cherry blossom is a symbol of Japan, various kind of cherry blossoms are blooming in Hirano shrine
Information Japanese only
Lanuages spoken Japanese only
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