Gion Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Japan. The Gion Festival is about a one-month long festival which consists of several traditions. It is said that this festival started in 863 in the hope of stopping an epidemic. For more information on Gion Matsuri, please read this article. There are sometimes slight changes, but when it comes to the schedule and place, it’s basically the same. For those who coming to Kyoto in July, another detailed article on Gion Festival is being produced now, so stay tuned.
For more and the latest information on this festival, be sure to read
Gion Festival 2014 Overview & Schedule.
Kodaiji Illumination for Star Festival
Kodaiji has several illumination events throughout year, and this one is for Tanabata (Star Festival/Festival of the Weaver) where people (mainly kids) decorate bamboo arrows with papers on which they write their wishes. Kodaiji is open from 9:00 – 21:30 for this festival, but for people who are interested in the illumination, visit the temple later than 18:00. 500 yen/adult. July 5th/6th.
Water Festival at Kifune Shrine
Kifune Shrine, which worships the god of water, has a Water Festival every year. At this festival, a tea ceremony, a traditional dance called Gagaku and a ritual cooking ceremony are performed. All of these are prestigious, and it might be a good opportunity to experience something really deep and cultural. Kifune Shrine is far away from the city. First, take a train called Eizan Line from Demachi Yanagi Station. Get off at Kibuneguchi (420 yen). Walk 25 mins or take a bus (Kyoto Bus) from the bus stop near the station and get off at Kibune (160 yen). Note that the One Day Pass is not accepted in this region. The tea ceremony starts at 10:00 (to participate, 3000 yen is required), and the traditional dance performance starts at 13:00. July 8th.
Flower Arrangement Displays for Gion Festival
As part of the Gion Festival, Kyoto’s prestigious traditional flower arrangement groups will dress up Shijo Street with beautifully decorated flowers. Many shops that are located between Yasaka Shrine and Karasuma Street on Shijo Street have volunteered to display flower arrangement works for the festival. Window shopping might be extra interesting during these two days. July 15th -16th.
For more fun and useful information which will make your Kyoto Trip more exciting, memorable and stress-free, please check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.