Travel back in time to witness the customs of ancient Japan, at the Aoi Matsuri Festival in Kyoto! A limited number of reserved seat tickets remain, with optional English audio guide!
- Arriving early is recommended due to the large crowds expected. Tickets cannot be refunded for late arrivals due to traffic or other conditions. - Be seated by 10:00 am at Kyoto Imperial Palace. Parade start time is 10:30 am. - No food or drink is allowed in the seating area. - No flash photography (as it may startle the horses and oxen) - Please be considerate when taking pictures and videos. - Please remain seated and do not obstruct others' view with umbrellas or hats. - Be aware the number of restrooms is limited. - Seating is randomly assigned, so you will not be able to choose your seat. - The event may be postponed to May 16 in case of rain or inclement weather, however, please understand that the tickets are not refundable in this case. - In the event of bad weather on May 16 as well, the event will be canceled and tickets can be refunded – please apply for a refund in this case Please note that you will get the other option ticket when the option you ordered has been sold out.
In the 7th century Japan, the Emperor gave offerings to the deities of the Kamo Shrines of Northeast Kyoto, praying for a good harvest. This custom led to the birth of a festival — the Aoi Matsuri Festival. Fast forward to today and you will discover that the Aoi Matsuri Festival is still celebrated annually, on May 15 in Kyoto, Japan. It is also one of Kyoto's three main festivals, along with the Gion Matsuri and the Jidai Matsuri Festivals. Over 500 individuals dress up in Heian period clothing and walk from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to the Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines (an hour-long journey). The festival is popularly known as Aoi Matsuri because aoi (Japanese wild ginger*) leaves are a keynote of the festival decorations, found on the court dresses, carriages, and even on the heads and clothes of the participants. Originally, one of the princesses from the Imperial family was sent to the shrine to serve the deities. Nowadays, a young Kyoto woman is chosen every year, to play the role of the imperial princess. As for how popular the event has always been, keep in mind that the Shoku-Nihongi (a historical Japanese record) noted that Aoi Matsuri Festival needed very tight security during the 2nd year of the reign of the 42nd emperor (697 A.D. – 707 A.D.) due to the massive amount of people who attended! Come experience the traditional outfits, horses, oxen, ornately decorated carts, and a taste of ancient Japan as you've never seen before. You can book reserved seating and enjoy the parade at the Kyoto Imperial Palace only (seats at the Shimogamo Shrine are not offered). This will be an excellent opportunity to see the highlights of the festival without getting lost in the crowd. Please note that the reserved seating is expected to sell out quickly. Book now to secure your seats! *The 'Aoi' in Aoi Matsuri is commonly mistranslated as 'hollyhock,' as it shares the same kanji "葵."