Gion Matsuri — Kyoto’s Original Festival Dedicated to the Capital

Kyoto Gion Matsuri

Gion Matsuri – synonymous to Kyoto’s summer. Being not only Kyoto’s, but also one of Japan’s three largest festivals, the Gion Festival is celebrated by all Kyoto locals and visitors from afar. The city of Kyoto becomes filled the with energy of people who have waited for this month since the previous year. The mere ”Kon-chiki-chin” of the Gion Bayashi music ignite this town and create a festive mood.

Traditional rituals and events related to this amazing festival are held throughout the month of July. Join in this year’s Gion Festival and experience the wonders of Kyoto’s history, craft and people.

Kyoto Gion Matsuri

Gion Matsuri Now & Then
Throughout history, Japan has suffered many times from serious epidemics, floods, fires, earthquakes and recently tsunami. These were always viewed as signs that the ”gods” and ”goddesses” were not happy. To appease the deities and pray for the deceased, rituals called goryo-e were held which over time, developed into festivals associated with a certain shrine. The Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s oldest and largest goryo-e festivals, is dedicated to Yasaka Shrine (also known as the Gion Shrine).

Kyoto Gion Matsuri

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Kyoto Visitor’s Guide-Gion Matsuri.

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