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Gion Matsuri (Main Event Parade)

Event Dates

July 16, 2019

Dates and times are subjects to change without notice. Check with the official organizers before making travel arrangements.


category: Festivals
Major City: Kyoto
Event is: Free

The "Kyoto Gion Festival" (in Japanese; "Kyoto Gion Matsuri"  祇園祭) is one of Japan's most famous and celebrated festivals. The festival is about a month long! We know most visitors to Kyoto do not have a months time to spend viewing and participating in the Gion Festival but you can either catch part of it or the "Main Event" which generally happends around the 17th of July.  However, through the whole month of july there are other "mini events" that support this 17th Main event parade.

During the Gion Festival parade, around 50 men haul, push and pull massive "floats" down a specified route.  The "floats" are one of two types, 1.) the "Yama" type which are created and decorated with scenes that depict Chinese and Japanese history and the 2.) "Hoko" type which are mort the "artistic" type (and even much larger up to 2 stories and 10 tons!) which have music, bands, decorations and just all out beauty.

The festival started sometime in the Heian period (794-1185) to ward off and or "please" spirits to keep the evil disasters from happening to Kyoto at the time. Originally the festival was a religeuos festival but as time progressed around about the Kamakura era (1185-1333), not only did they hold the festival for religeous reasons but... just for fun! It gave rich and prosperous families a chance to "show off" what they had.

Yasaka-jinja Shrine Homepage


Location: Yasaka Shrine

Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. 605-0073

Event Images

Kyoto Gion Festival

Kyoto Gion Festival

Kyoto Gion Festival Route Map

Kyoto Gion Festival Route Map

Event Videos

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