Gion Matsuri, July in Kyoto・7月 京都 祇園祭

Gion Matsuri, July in Kyoto・7月 京都 祇園祭

最終更新: 5月24日


Kyoto hosts not just one of the biggest matsuri (festival) in Japan, but also one of the oldest and uninterrupted, held by the Yasaka Shrine since year 869, the Gion matsuri. This was originally held for praying and thanking the gods for surviving an epidemic. It lasts the whole month of July and it attracts not only foreign tourists, but also people from all over Japan.

Let’s have a look to the details of the festival!


祇園祭りは八坂神社が主催する祭行事で、その歴史は869年に始まり日本で最も古く大規模な祭りの一つです。元々は祈願と、伝染病が流行した厳しい時代を生き抜くことが出来たことへの感謝の意を示すため開催されました。祇園祭りは7月の一か月を通して行われ、国内のみならず海外からも沢山の人が訪れます!


Yoi yoi yoi! Let’s enjoy summer in Kyoto!

宵々!京都の夏をたのしもう!


Starting on July 1st, Kyoto will hold festivities and events in various places of the whole city. The Yoi-festivals represent the main attraction of the event. “Yoi yoi yoi” indicates the countdown to the main event: the float procession.

Most exciting for tourists visiting Kyoto at this time may be the events held between July 14th and 16th, known as “Yoi-Yoi-Yoi-Yama”, “Yoi-Yoi-Yama” and “Yoi-Yama”. On July 15th and 16th one of the main streets in Kyoto, Shijo street, will be closed to traffic and crowds of people will gather for food, drinks and some nice souvenirs from the matsuri. It is one of the most popular times to wear a yukata (a traditional light Japanese dress) and fully experience the Kyoto tradition. It is the time to show colours and enjoy the festival feelings.


7月1日から京都では様々な場所で数々の祭行事が開催されます。

なかでも前祭(さきまつり)宵山は7月14日から16日に行われる祇園祭のメインイベント!宵山の前日は宵々山、その前日は宵々々山と呼ばれます。7月15日から16日は四条通が封鎖され、様々な屋台が沢山立ち並ぶ歩行者天国となります。賑やかで活気に溢れた雰囲気がとっても楽しいですよ!



Check out the main events:

主な行事


7/14 Yoi-Yoi-Yoi-Yama

7月14日 宵々々山

7/15 Yoi-Yoi-Yama

7月15日 宵々山

7/16 Yoi-Yama

7月16日 宵山

7/17 Main float procession Yamaboko Junko (9 Yama and 23 Hoko)

7月17日 山鉾巡行


7/21 Yoi-Yoi-Yoi-Yama

7月21日 宵々々山

7/22 Yoi-Yoi-Yama

7月22日 宵々山

7/23 Yoi-Yama

7月23日 宵山

7/24 2nd float procession (fewer and smaller floats)

7月24日 山鉾巡行(規模は小さくなる)


Historically, every year a boy is chosen to be a divine messenger to pray to the gods. He is supposed to not set a foot on the ground from July 13th to July 17th and to be paraded for the whole four days.


毎年一人の男の子が選ばれ、お稚児さんと呼ばれる神様の使いになります。7月13日から17日までの4日間参社の儀や鉾への搭乗の際は地に足を付けてはいけない事になっています。


The main procession July 17th, Yamaboko junko, consists of yama (big floats) and hoko (smaller floats), decorated with nishijin textiles, which will be shown and processed at the riverside of Kamogawa. The textiles come from the homonymous neighborhood of Kyoto, where the most well-known and valuable textiles are produced. Interesting fact: during the parade, tourists are allowed to enter some of the floats!


山鉾巡行は複数の駒形提灯から構成され、京都の夏の夜を明るく照らします。それぞれの提灯は京都の最も有名な紋織物、西陣織の柄で美しく飾られています。巡行の間、実際に山鉾の中に入ることができるものもあるんだとか!


After the first procession, three days of Yoi-festival “Yoi-Yoi-Yoi-Yama” will follow, from July 21st to 23rd. Then, a second float procession will be held with fewer and smaller floats.


最初の山鉾巡行の後の7月21日から23日にかけて宵々々山、宵々山、宵々山と続き、最後に二度目の山鉾巡行があります。こちらは一回目に比べると少なく小さめの提灯になります。



As it is true that you can enjoy the uniqueness of Kyoto in all times of the year, it is also true that Gion matsuri is the event that will make you feel like a true person from Kyoto. Be sure to wear your yukata and enjoy delicious street food while admiring the colorful and festive parades!


どのシーズンでも京都のユニークさを楽しんでもらえるのはもちろんのこと、特に祇園祭は実際に京都に溶け込むみながら楽しめる感覚が味わえます!ぜひ、あなたも着物に身をまとって屋台の美味しい食べ物を楽しみながら彩り豊かな山鉾巡行にうっとりしませんか?


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