In autumn, the pageantry of this large festival unfurls across Kyoto’s main thoroughfare. The festival procession begins with historical figures from the turbulent Bakumatsu period (a period from 1853-1867: the end of Edo Period) with neatly marching Imperialist troops playing flutes and drums. Following these come a parade of colorfully costumed figures from different epochs: Edo (1603-1868), Azuchi Momoyama (1568-1600), Muromachi (1336-1573), Yoshino (1336-1392), Kamakura (1185-1333), Fujiwara (898-1185), and Enryaku (782-806). All come together to encompass Jidai Matsuri, one of Kyoto’s three largest festivals.
Over the course of two hours, the festival procession will cover 2 kilometers with a parade of 2,000 members (including 75 horses and oxen, 3 carriages, an oxcart and sacred carriages), a real-life illustrated scroll of Kyoto’s rich history. Audiences will be delighted by the brilliant display of Japanese history unfolding before their eyes, as they travel back in time without moving from their seats.
Reserved seating (for a fee) at Kyoto Imperial Palace, Oike-dori Street, and along Heian Jingu-michi Street is recommended for the best view of the procession. Reserved seating with English guidance (for a fee) is also available exclusively on Oike-dori Street.
[Major historical figures in the procession]
Ishin Kinno-tai Branch: Imperial loyalist troops from the Yamaguni-tai regiment of the Tamba Area.
Anti-shogunate patriots from the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868): Katsura Kogoro, Sakamoto Ryoma, Nakaoka Shintaro, etc.
Tokugawa Shogun’s Deputies: Samurai soldiers in the early-modern times of Edo.
Women of the Edo Period (1603-1868): Imperial princess Kazunomiya, Rengetsu-ni, Yoshino-tayu, etc.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his servants: Famous warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his attendants.
Oda Nobunaga Clan: Feudal Lords Oda Nobunaga and Hashiba Hideyoshi (Toyotomi Hideyoshi), and Shibata Katsuie.
The Muromachi Period (1336-1573): Ashikaga shogunate administrators, and others clad in costumes of the time.
Kusunoki clan: Kusunoki Masashige, Masasue, and others in samurai armor
Women of the Middle Ages: Ohara-me, Katsura-me, Abutsu-ni, Shizuka-gozen, and other women from different areas in Kyoto.
Jonan Yabusame group: Costumed Yabusame archers on horseback.
Fujiwara Clan: Civil and military officers in their respective costumes.
Women of the Heian Period (794-1185): Famous poetesses and authors Murasaki Shikibu, Sei Shonagon, Ono-no-Komachi, and others.
Military Officer of the Enryaku Period: General Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, dressed to prepare for war.
Court Nobles of the Enryaku Period (782-806): Court officials in official attire.
Shirakawa-me: A parade of flower-crowned women from Shirakawa, offering flowers to deity.
Departs Kyoto Imperial Palace at 12:00 p.m. →Karasuma Oike 12:50 p.m. →Arrives at Heian Jingu Shrine at 2:30 p.m.
The 2 km procession will depart from Kyoto Imperial Palace at 12:00 p.m., head west past Marutamachi-dori Street, continue on Karasuma-dori Street to Oike-dori Street, Kawaramachi-dori Street, Sanjo-dori Street, and then proceed to Jingu-michi Street, finally arriving at Heian Jingu Shrine.
[For the best view of Jidai Matsuri Festival, Reserve a Paid Seat! (All seats are reserved, and include a brochure)]
Tickets can be purchased from the Kyoto Tourist Information Center (Kyo Navi), online (via Voyagin), and at other locations.
Click the following banner for viewing seats with live English commentary tickets:
October 26 (Sat), 2019 *Postponed in case of rain. The procession will leave the Kyoto Imperial Palace at 12:00 p.m.
Seating Locations for Viewing Procession: Kyoto Gyoen Park around the Imperial Palace, on Oike-dori Street, and along Heian Jingu-michi Street.
Ticket prices for paid viewing seats may vary depending on where the purchase is made.
Please contact the Kyoto City Tourism Association for inquiries: +81-75-213-1717