Home > Kyoto This Month >> Jidai Matsuri Festival



Jidai Matsuri Festival
A Picturesque Procession of Kyoto's 1,200 Years of History


October 26
*In case of rain, the festival will be postponed.



The Jidai Matsuri Festival, or ''Festival of Ages,'' is one of Kyoto's three biggest festivals (the other two are the Aoi Matsuri Festival in May and the Gion Matsuri Festival in July). In 1895, Kyoto City held the first Jidai Matsuri Festival: a colorful, exotic costume celebration dedicated to the Old Capital's 1,100-year history.



The first festival also marked the opening of Heian Shrine, a 5/8 scale model of Kyoto's original imperial palace. The shrine was specially built to enshrine the spirit of Emperor Kammu (reigned 781-806), who founded Kyoto in 794, and the city's last reigning emperor, Emperor Komei (reigned 1847-1866).



Today, after more than 120 years, the Jidai Matsuri Festival continues to be a major focus of pride for the city of Kyoto. For most visitors, the festival's biggest attraction lies in the grand parade. Each group in the procession represents a different period of Kyoto's history, starting from the Meiji Restoration period (around 1868) and ending with the Heian period (794-1185). More than 12,000 pieces of furniture, costumes and tools have been recreated based on thorough historical research. It offers visitors a special chance to experience the splendor and detail of Kyoto's amazing history.



The parade itself begins at 7:00 in the morning on the 26th with the transferal, on sacred palanquins, of the imperial spirits from Heian Shrine to the Old Imperial Palace. At 12:00, the southern central axis of the Old Imperial Palace becomes a massive stage of the ages. A grand costume parade consisting of 2,000 people, about 2 km in length, will start to move across the city to Heian Shrine.





The Jidai Matsuri Festival parade viewing seat tickets
2,500 yen (reserved seating with a brochure)
*Seat tickets (4,100 yen) with English earphone guidance are also available on Oike Street.
Venue: Kyoto Imperial Park / Oike Street / Jingu-michi Street

Ticket available at: Kyoto Tourist Information Center (Kyo Navi: 8:30-19:00 daily); Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto by JTB (10:00-18:00 daily); www.tourist-information-center.jp/kansai/en/ kyoto/ ; *Additional fees may apply depending on the agents.

*Generally, Jidai Matsuri Festival is held on October 22nd. However, Jidai Matsuri, as an exception this year, will take place on October 26 due to the ascension of Japan's new emperor earlier this year with the Enthronement Ceremony which is being held on October 22.