Late
Oct

Jidai Matsuri: Kyoto’s Historical Parade

7:00am – 4:00pm
Free

Want to see a slice of Japanese history? The Jidai Matsuri—”Festival of Ages”—is one of Kyoto‘s biggest October draws. It commemorates the founding of Kyoto as the Imperial capital by the Emperor Kammu in 794, so this is definitely one for the history enthusiasts! The Jidai Matsuri is a procession of over 2000 people in costumes from every era of Japanese history, departing from the Kyoto Imperial Palace in the morning and moving along a route several kilometers long to Heian Jingu Shrine. Geisha also participate in the Jidai Matsuri, dressed in junhitoe kimono, some of the most elegant and complex clothing in the world. This festival, established in 1895, is all about authenticity—the costumes, music and symbolism are all historically accurate.

The best places to view the parade are the Imperial Palace (in the morning) and Heian Shrine (around 2pm), but get there early: the festival is mega popular! You can also check out the participants before and after the event. (Both of the venues are near Jingumarutamachi Station, and Heian Jingu Shrine is near Higashiyama Station.) Admission is free, but if standing for that long puts you off, you can book seating for ¥3,700.

Note that although this festival is held annually on the 22nd of October, due to a clash with the new emperor’s enthronement day, in 2019 it will be held on the 26th.

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Apr 7
    ~
    Apr 13

    Hiroshima Mint Cherry Blossom Viewing

    Like the head office in Osaka, the Hiroshima branch of the Japan Mint has a garden of late blossoming yaezakura cherry trees. The garden boasts 63 multi petaled varieties of sakura and 219 trees. Regular old somei yoshino cherry blossoms […]

    10:00am – 8:00pm
    Free
  • Apr 8
    ~
    Apr 14

    Osaka Mint Bureau Cherry Blossom Viewing

    Each year for one week in mid April, the Osaka Mint Bureau opens their grounds for ‘Sakura Torinuke” – cherry blossom viewing. The particular variety for which the mint grounds are famous for is yaezakura – a slightly later flowering […]

    10:00am – 9:00pm
    Free
  • Apr 14
    ~
    Apr 15

    Takayama Spring Festival

    The Takayama Spring Festival/Sanno Matsuri takes place at Hie Shrine in Takayama City, Gifu – not to be confused with the festival and shrine of the same name in Tokyo. The festival features processions of large wheeled floats, mikoshi (shoulder […]

    Free
  • Apr 15
    ~
    Apr 16 2021

    Heian Jingu Reisai Festival

    Celebrating the accession ceremony day of the temple’s deity – Emperor Kanmu in 781 in Nara, this annual festival features an opportunity to see Geiko (the geisha of Kyoto) and Maiko, their apprentices. The prayer ceremony takes place on the […]

    10:00am
    Free

Recommended hotels located nearby