Our time in Japan was courtesy of Japan Rail Pass.
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.