Spring Festival in Kyoto: Aoi Festival

“Aoi festival”, or Hollyhock festival in Kyoto is said to be the most elegant festival in Japan. Decorations and elaborate costumes will make you feel you are traveling back in time.

Let us introduce you to the beauty of Aoi festival.

Held in Spring

There are three particularly famous festivals in Kyoto.”Gion festival”, considered as a festival for common people is held in summer and “Jidai festival”, held in autumn. Aoi festival is held in on May 15th every year and is said to be a festival for aristocrats.

Continuing from 500 A.D.

Aoi festival has a long history, the festival first held in 500 A.D. During that time, the area was suffering from heavy storms and flood damage which is said to be a curse by angry gods and the festival was held to appease and calm them. It is a traditional festival, continuously held for over 1500 years.

Aristocratic-dynasty atmosphere

The must-see attraction at Aoi festival is the dynasty procession. Around 500 people are dressed in aristocratic clothing from Heian period (8th-12th century). The procession will take place along the streets of Kyoto with prayers for the gods.

There are various types of costumes depending on gender and status so pay close attention to the clothing and enjoy watching the dynasty procession.

Equestrian archery performance

Although Aoi festival itself is held only on May 15th, related events are held from May 1st to 20th.

We recommend you to see the equestrian archery performance which is greatly appreciated by the locals as well.

Get the best views for the dynasty procession

You can see the dynasty procession for no charge at particular areas. It is advised to reserve the place early in the morning if you want to secure the front row. There are paid seats that will guarantee you a better view as well.

If you are interested, you can walk along the dynasty procession route which is around 8 km.

Great access to the location

The procession begins at Kamigamo Shrine and arrives at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto. The closest station to the area is Marutamachi station. Kyoto is a 2-hour bus ride from Kansai International Airport. Marutamachi station is 4-stops away by train from Kyoto station.

A time-slip trip

Visit Aoi festival for a new experience of a noble, elegant atmosphere. By all means, go on a time-slip adventure with us!