How to enjoy Gion Matsuri Festival?


Gion Matsuri Festival is the festival of  Yasaka shrine, which has been handed down through the centuries. Also, it is one of the three greatest festivals in Japan.

Although Gion festival is held for one month, from July 1st until the end of the month, it is said that the highlights of the festival are generally July 17th and 24th. However, it is not enough to know about the true attractions of  Gion Festival with just 2 days.  

We would like to introduce how to enjoy Gion Festival to you !!

  • Let’s  visit to see shrine rituals and events  

Rituals and events are held at Yasaka shrine and Yamahokocho ( towns with Yama or hoko, float) almost every day.  We recommend that you see or participate in as many ritual and events as possible in order to understand Gion Festival deeply.

  • Let’s see how to assemble Hoko and Yama  

Beautiful and artistic 23 floats are described as ‘moving museums.’ The heaviest float weighs about 12 tons and highest float is about 25m in height. You can see “Nawagarami”, which is the traditional method for assembling floats without screws.  

  • Let’s pull Hoko and Yama

Don’t you think that only certain people can pull  Hoko and Yama?

Everyone can try pulling Hoko and Yama at “Hikisome”(Hoko and Yama trial pulling event)

  • Let’s ride Hoko and Yama

The beauty of  Hoko’s and Yama’s decoration is not only appearance, but also interior. Some Hoko and Yama are open to the public. You can ride and see beautiful interior.

  • Let’s get goods of each Hoko and Yama  

Each Hoko and Yama sell a chimaki  (a rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves) and and other original goods. Although the chimakis look almost the same, its are believed to grant different benefit.

  • Let’s feel the atmosphere of  Machiya 

Antique work of arts and furnishings owned by a Machiya owner are shown to the public at Machiya (Historical residences of Kyoto) in Yamahokocho. This is a chance for you to enter the traditional private house in Kyoto!

  • Let’s enjoy eating local foods at the street stalls

Some streets will be turned into a pedestrian precinct [will be kept completely free of cars] on July 15th and 16th.  Countless street stalls are set up along the streets. It is fun to walk and eat local foods while listening to the sound of “Gionbayasi” music.

  • Let’s receive a limited time offer  

Many shops throughout Kyoto offer limited time products and services during Gion Festival.  

Gion Festival has more than 1,100 years of history.

Why don’t you experience the greatest and most beautiful festival packed with tradition and attraction?