Gion Matsuri in Kyoto is the festival of Yasaka Jinja Shrine, one of the biggest 'matsuri' in Japan. Watch the Yamahoko Junko go by from reserved seating for the best possible view with English Audio Guide option also available!
- Processions will take place rain or shine - There are no refunds unless the festival itself is canceled - If it rains, organizers will distribute disposable rain ponchos - As seats are randomly assigned, you cannot choose seats - Arriving early is recommended given expected large crowds - Be seated half an hour before the procession arrives; tickets cannot be refunded for late arrivals due to traffic etc. - Get your festival brochure at the seating area entrance - Eating/drinking are permitted in the seating area, however, please avoid bothering others; take all refuse away with you - Please refrain from smoking in the seating area, smoking on city streets is prohibited by Kyoto City Law - To reduce heat stroke risk, please consume plenty of fluids and take other precautions to stay cool - Be aware that the number of public restrooms is limited - No flash photography - Please be considerate when taking photographs or video - Please refrain from flying drones or other unmanned aircraft - Please remain seated and refrain from obstructing the view of others with umbrellas, hats, etc.
Kyoto's Gion Matsuri, the festival of Yasaka Jinja Shrine, is one of the most popular festivals in Japan. The annual Gion Festival lasts the entire month of July with much to see and do, but the biggest – and most crowded – event of the festival is the Saki Matsuri on July 17! Anybody can glimpse the floats from among the packed crowds along the route, but for excellent views, choose one of three advance e-ticket options for the Saki Matsuri. ★ Saki Matsuri Reserved Seating Choose this ticket to reserve a prime-location seat along the procession route, and see every float in full and in comfort. ★ English Audio Guide & Saki Matsuri Reserved Seating For the fullest appreciation of the Gion Matsuri, this ticket also includes an audio guide device, for detailed, real-time English-language explanation of the procession, the Yamaboko floats, and the history of Gion Matsuri. ★ Ato Matsuri Reserved Seating Choose this ticket to reserve a prime-location seat along the procession route, and see every float in full and in comfort. ◆ About the Procession There are two Yamahoko Junko procession during Gion Matsuri: the former or Saki Matsuri on July 17, and the latter or Ato Matsuri on July 24. Festival area streets are closed to traffic for three days before each procession. Visitors to either procession will see numerous, huge traditional floats – or 'Yamahoko' – on show. There are two types of floats to see: Yama and Hoko. These beautiful Yamahoko are crafted from wood and decorated with gorgeous Nishijin textiles. The floats are rather large: the Yama measures some 25 meters in height and weighs some 12 tons. It takes a dozen people to pull each float. For the former procession that takes place on July 17, twenty-three Yama and Hoko will make their way through the downtown area between 9:00 am and 11:30 am. For the Ato Matsuri (Latter Festival) Yamahoko Float Procession of the Yama and Hoko (July 24, 2019), please be in your seat by 9:00 am (procession starts at 9:30 am) This procession departs at 9:30 am from Karasuma Oike, moving in the opposite direction of the Saki Matsuri (Former Festival) Yamahoko Float Procession, led by the Hashibenkei-yama float as it passes Kawaramachi-dori Street west on Shijo-dori Street. The rear will be brought up by the Ofune-hoko float, brought back in 2014 after an absence of 150 years. You can see floats being pulled to change direction at the Kawaramachi Oike and Kawaramachi Shijo intersections, and the Hanagasa (Flower Umbrella) Procession. To fully enjoy a Yamahoko Junko procession and make the most of your Japan experience, we highly recommend this reserved seating. The seats are located on Oike-dori Street, so you can see the floats up close. Please note that reserved seating is expected to sell out quickly. Book now to secure your seats!