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Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) 時代祭

Heian-jingu Shrine Heian-jingu Shrine
Heian-jingu Shrine Heian-jingu Shrine

Characters and colorful finery from centuries past

The Jidai Matsuri, the "Festival of the Ages," is one of Kyoto's three best-known festivals. You'll see elaborate finery from throughout Japan's history, as well as key figures from the country's past, starting with the Meiji Restoration and rewinding the clock to the beginning of the Heian period in 794.

Don't Miss

  • Meeting your favorite Japanese historical characters
  • Seeing authentic costumes rarely exhibited outside of a museum

How to Get There

Kyoto is a bullet train stop and is also accessible by regular train, air and highway bus.

You can reach the Jidai Matsuri parade route by train, bus, taxi, or on foot from Kyoto Station . This festival is easy to get to from almost anywhere in Kyoto. For the best view, travel to the Imperial Palace to watch the parade start.

Quick Facts

There are a band playing drums and flutes and Imperial soldiers on the march

It takes around two hours to watch the parade pass by

The procession travels from Kyoto's Imperial Palace to Heian-jingu Shrine, around 4.6 kilometers away

A chance that only comes once a year

For over 100 years Kyoto has celebrated its history with an elaborate parade from the Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu . The grounds of the Imperial Palace , known in Japanese as Kyoto Gosho, fill with eager spectators waiting to watch more than 2,000 people dressed in historically accurate costumes.

Early birds can buy tickets in advance from a convenience store for priority seating and get the best view of this unique journey through Japanese history.

Walking you through Japanese history in style

Although the colorful historical characters are the most visually engaging part of the parade, the portable shrines, known as mikoshi, are the most important. They contain the spirits of Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei. This is the only time of the year that their spirits get to leave their enshrined homes, so join them to celebrate Japan's history and traditions.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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