Gion Matsuri

Kyoto's biggest festival

Venue: Yasaka Shrine When: Early - Late Jul 2023

Gion Matsuri is Kyoto’s largest festival which takes place throughout the month of July by the Yasaka Shrine. Although it is named after the Gion district, the main events take place on the opposite side of Kamo River. There are two main parades called the Yamaboko Junko, which occur in mid to late July. On nights leading up to the parade (yoiyama), Kyoto’s downtown area is reserved for pedestrian traffic. The streets are filled with energetic food stands, drink vendors and festival games.

The processions of floats (Hoko and Yama) take place between 9:00 and 11.30. Groups of people collectively carry these heavy floats which are elaborately furnished with beautiful tapestries from Nishijin. Yama floats weigh up to 1,600kg and Hoko floats weigh up to 12,000kg and starts from Shijo-Karasuma or Karasuma-Oike. If you go, make sure to wear a yukata!

More info

Find out more about Yasaka Shrine.

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Billy Helsabeck 3 months ago
Is there any way to pin down the dates of the Gion Matsuri 2023 Festival? Travel and Hotel arrangements require a bit more specificity. I just returned from a 10 day stay (with day trips outside Kyoto) in late November. Would love to return.
john smith a year ago
Is it still going to happen in 2021?
Bonson Lam a year ago
It is still happening, but on a more intimate scale in the back streets. To get a glimpse of its charm, join me for a fireside chat with the Chairman of the committee.
Elena Lisina 3 years ago
WOW! The whole month of a festival!!! Impressive!

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