Updated: November 06, 2018
0 Bookmark

Aoi Matsuri: Stunning Festival Of Kyoto From The Heian Era!

Kyoto City

If you love the traditional, ancient side of Japan, you will love this festival of the former capital Kyoto!

May 15, 2018(Tue)
Kyoto
Feel free to follow favy!

Aoi Matsuri

If you love the traditional, ancient side of Japan, you will love this festival of the former capital Kyoto!
pixta_22442771_S
Aoi Matsuri is one of the three main festivals of Kyoto (the other two being the Gion Matsuri and the Jidai Matsuri). It's also called the Kamo Matsuri in reference to the two ancient shrines in the northern part of the city. It is one of the oldest festivals in Japan, dating back to the Heian Era (8th century). It's held every year on the 15th of May.
pixta_33764284_S
葵(aoi)
Aoi refers to the hollyhock. The festival highlight is a procession of about 500 people wearing kimonos of the Heian Era and carrying floats and umbrellas adorned with hollyhocks.
pixta_7284536_S
According to ancient records, the emperor of the time sent a horseback-riding messenger to the Kamo shrine to appease the gods from the epidemics that were ravaging the city. It was believed that the galloping horse put on such a show that the gods ended the epidemics. The equestrian show was repeated from then on. To this day, this is one of the highlights of the festival. Seeing the archer in traditional Heian clothing riding the horse and performing archery is quite amazing!
pixta_15771213_S
Another point of interest is to see the "saio-dai" (斎王代), a young woman who undergoes a purification ritual and is then carried on a special float with the procession. The women has to be unmarried and is a representation of purity. She performs her duty
Enjoy the festival by gathering along the main streets of Kyoto and watching the procession go by. The place gets very crowded at good viewing spots so you better get their early! The procession starts at the former imperial palace at 10:30 on the 15th of May and goes up to the Kamo Shrines.
pixta_25997867_S
賀茂神社 (kamo-jinja)
At the Kamo Shrines, the horseback riding messenger and the saio-dai will perform a ritual that is also very interesting to watch!

Lastly...

pixta_1319362_S
If you want to take part in an ancient festival and learn more about the traditional, ritualistic side of Japan, this is an event you must attend if you are in Kyoto in the middle of May! The city has so much to offer.
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

Trending Posts

1

Ginza Bairin - Ginza, Tokyo : Heavenly, Traditional Katsudon That You Need To Try!

2

Biting Into a Pound of Steak! All the Meat You Can Dream of at Nikubaru Gaburi in Shibuya, Tokyo

3

Love it or Hate it: How to Eat Natto!

4

A Tuna Carving Party In a Club With House Music?? Only in Tokyo!

5

"Rishotan Shosaikan" In Kinshicho, Tokyo: Chewy Rice Noodles In A Succulent, Rich Stew Made With Cubed Pieces Of Meat!

More Trending Posts

Recommended For You!

1

Want To Try Local Japanese Tempura And Soba Noodles?

favy
2

BLUSTA, All-You-Can-Eat Affordable Yakiniku In Hakodate, Hokkaido!

favy
3

Ton Shabu Hide: Delectable Shabu Shabu In Kyoto!

favy
4

Re:Dine GINZA an Innovative Restaurant With a Money Exchange System For Foreign Currencies

favy
5

re:Dine GINZA Serves Umami-Filled Ramen in Ginza, Tokyo

favy

Featured Posts

Halal Restaurants In Japan!

Things to do in Japan in all regions!

Exploring Yokocho Alleys: a Guide to the Back Streets!

More Features

Events

Hadaka Masturi: Japan's Big "Naked Festival"

Feb 16, Sat

Starbucks' New Sakura Line-Up For 2019!

Feb 15, Fri ~ Mar 19, Tue

Tokamachi Snow Festival: Astounding Snow Festival In Niigata!

Feb 15, Fri ~ Feb 17, Sun

Yokote Kamakura Festival: An Ancient Festival Of Snow-Houses Built For The God Of Water

Feb 14, Thu ~ Feb 16, Sat

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival: Japan's Most Beautiful Winter Candle Light Festival

Feb 08, Fri ~ Feb 17, Sun

Trending Tags