All About Japan

Kyoto's Aoi Matsuri (May 15)

| Festivals , Kyoto

The Aoi Matsuri, held every year on May 15, is one of Kyoto’s three main festivals and is regarded as Japan’s most elegant and charming festival. A national ritual since the Heian Period (794–1185), it’s one of the few that preserve traditional dynastic customs.

Featuring over 500 people dressed as Heian nobles, the procession goes from Kyoto’s Imperial Palace to Shimogamo Shrine, and then to Kamigamo Shrine. Visitors can enjoy the festival from paid seating at Kyoto Gyoen National Garden or along the approach to Shimogamo Shrine.

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