Aoi Festival


About Aoi Festival

Aoi Festival

Aoi Festival is the one that is held in May 15th in Kamomiso shrine(Shimogamo shrine) and Kamobetsurai shrine(Kamigamo shrine). It was called the Kamo Festival or the festival in the north in old days. Aoi Festival is one of the Sanchoku Festivals which those are the special three festivals of the ritual of the shrine where the emperor’s Messenger is dispatched and performed like Iwashimizu Festival and Kasuga Festival, and it became a festival of aristocrats for visiting to the sights from it what had been done as an event of Mr.Kamo and Chotei. And so on, Aoi Festival is one of three big festivals in Kyoto like Gion Festival and Jidai Festival.

The woman who is riding in a cart in the photograph is the leading role of the festival, and she is Saioudai. What a elegant a graceful spectacle. Saioudai is a substitute for Saiou, and is is said that it is an unmarried princess and queen who once served to the shrine of Ise Jingu Shrine and Kamo. The People of Kyoto have been told that they have gathered to see the gorgeous procession of Saiou at the time of Aoi Festival.

The course of the procession leaves the Sakai-Cho Mikado of Kyoto Imperial Palace and moves to the Shimogamo shrine and to the Kamigamo shrine further. There is a pay seat in the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Shimogamo shrine. The road is blocked by the time when the procession of the festival passes. And the Shimogamo shrine and the Kamigamo shrine are filled with many street vendors every year to liven up the festive mood. By the way, my recommended souvenir is pickled Suguki of Kamigamo’s fine pickles.


Aoi Festival photos

▼Press any thumbnail, and you can see the photo gallery.

▼Tap any thumbnail, and you can see the photo gallery.

Photographer: Taisuke Yamada


Date May 15 (rain postponed)

Kyoto Imperial Palace Sakai-cho Gomon
〒602-0881 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Shimogamo Shrine
〒606-0807 59 Shimogamo-Izumikawawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Kamigamo Shrine
〒603-8047 339 Kamigamo Motoyama, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Kyoto City Tourism Association TEL:075-213-1717
※Inquiries about paid seating, etc.
Site URL

Recommended places to visit in conjunction with

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine

The Shimogamo Shrine is officially called the Kamomiso Shrine. The registration of UNESCO's World Heritage has raised the profile. It is said that it is a shrine honoring the god of the ancient clans Kamo, along with Kamigamo shrine(Kamobetsurai shrine). The south side of the shrine is a native forest called Tadasuno forest, with old trees.

Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine is formally called Kamobetsurai Shrine, and is located in Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto-city. It is registered as a UNESCO World cultural heritage and attracts attention.

Kawai Shrine

Kawai Shrine

The Kawai shrine is a shrine on the grounds of the Shimogamo shrine. This is a shrine of women's patron, and there are many female worshippers.