The Amazing Costumes at Jidai Matsuri Festival from Kyoto

with 22 Comments
We are festival lovers, there’s no doubt about it. Therefore when the staff at Hotel Granvia Kyoto (you can also read our hotel review) announced us upon our arrival that they had got festival tickets for us, we were thrilled. They totally took us by surprise and we were deeply moved by their attention to detail and courtesy. We had previously seen the Ikebukuro Autumn Festival in Tokyo, but Jidai Matsuri promised to be completely different.
Jidai Matsuri, or the Festival of Ages is one of the most important celebrations held in Kyoto. It was inaugurated after the capital moved to Tokyo at the end of 19th century. And since the parade is a historical reenactment, we had the chance to see some of the most spectacular traditional Japanese costumes.

Thanks to our hotel we had front row seats reserved right in front of the Town Hall. The parade lasted approximately 5 hours, time in which over 2,000 people dressed in anything from peasants to samurai, flashed in front of us the whole feudal history of Japan. 
We were given flyers with the program of the procession, as each group of people represented a different historical event. But for us, as Westerners, the big attraction of the festival remained the gorgeous and colorful costumes that came in so much variety. 

Our time in Japan was courtesy of Japan Rail Pass.

22 Responses

  1. Syarina Hisham
    | Reply

    when exactly is the festival?

  2. Wow, very cool and colorful. Great pictures! In a weird way the geishas look beautiful.

  3. Great photos! Looks like a fun experience.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Oh, it was super fun!

  4. A Montrealer Abroad
    | Reply

    Wow, gorgeous photos. Japan keeps fascinating me, and this essay just fuels my excitement to go!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      A must see country, for sure!

  5. Corinne
    | Reply

    Gorgeous shots! Japan is sooo colorful. Love it.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Indeed! It's impossible not to love Japan 😉

  6. Jade - OurOyster.com
    | Reply

    Great pictures! Love the colours

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Me too! Jidai Matsuri is a very colorful festival 🙂

  7. Cheryl Howard
    | Reply

    Gorgeous photos! I'd love to see such a festival.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Thank you, Cheryl! I really hope you will someday!

  8. Daniel J. Jones
    | Reply

    What a cool experience…great costumes!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      We indeed had so much fun watching all the costumes and photographing them!

  9. Great pictures and fantastic costumes!!

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Thank you, Angela! I loved the costumes too.

  10. zoomingjapan
    | Reply

    I've been to so many Japanese festivals, but I keep missing the Jidai Festivals. The one in Kyoto is literally around the corner. I hope I will be able to go this year! ^___^

    I really enjoyed this blog posts and all the photos. Thanks a lot for sharing! 🙂

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Fingers crossed you will make it to Jidai Matsuri this year 🙂

  11. restlessjo
    | Reply

    Amazing sights to witness! If I had a wish list, Japan would be right up there.

    • Laura
      | Reply

      Japan is amazing and this festival was so colorful! Five hours seemed like one.

  12. Rebecca Subbiah
    | Reply

    wow stunning thanks for sharing

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