Gion Festival

Gion Festival

An entire month when the whole city takes on a festival atmosphere!

This festival, held at the Yasaka-jinja Shrine in Gion, is one of the three major festivals of Japan (along with the Tenjin Festival in Osaka, and the Sanno and Kanda Festivals in Tokyo). The festival has its origins in the latter half of the 9th century, starting when all of Japan was suffering from a plague and people took up halberds to ward off the calamity. The scale of the festival has become larger throughout history, and in its current form a wide variety of Shinto rituals and events are held at Yasaka-jinja Shrine and throughout the city for the entire month of July. Of these, the highlights can be seen on July 17 and 24, when yama (“mountain”) and hoko (“halberd”) parade floats are pulled about in the Yamahoko Junko parade. In the several days before, the floats are decorated with beautiful works of art and craftsmanship alongside mountains and halberds, and heirlooms are exhibited by established families and long-standing stores in the neighborhood. At night, stalls open, and the streets of Kyoto are bustling with an exciting activity.


Event information

Take a Kyoto City Bus to the Gion bus stop
Held annually from July 1 to July 31 Check the official website for the schedule.
Official Site


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