- What is Jidai matsuri festival?
- Schedule of Jidai matsuri festival
- Jidai Gyoretsu parade
- Shiko retsu 神幸列
- Enryaku period 延暦時代
- Heian period 794~1185 平安時代
- Kamakura period 鎌倉時代
- Yoshino period 1336~1392 吉野時代
- Azico momoyama period 1573~1603 安土桃山時代
- Edo period 1603~1868 江戸時代
- Meiji period 明治維新時代
- Here Today
- The route of Jidai matsuri festival 時代祭のコース
- Access to Jidai matsuri
What is Jidai matsuri festival?
Jiday matsuri festival is one of the famous three festival in Kyoto and held on 22th October annually. It started in 1895 as a celebration of an incident took place 1100 years ago: the transferral of the ancient capital from Nara to Kyoto. It is famous for the parade in which over 2,000 participants in the outfits of the ancient times.
The aim of the festival
Heian Jingu shrie holds Jidai matsuri festival. It enshrines two emperors as Deity; emperor Kanmu, who moved to the capital to Kyoto, and emperor Komei, the last empror who spent his life in Kyoto.
The purpose of the festival is to let them see what present-day Kyoto is like as a Shito ritual. So, the Deities make a round trip between Heian Jingu shrine and Kyoto Imperial palace.
Jidai matsuri is famous for its prade. It conststs of 10 units and 8 of them shows us the periods between 794 and 1868. Their outfits are exact replica of each period.
Sorry, Japanes language only!
Schedule of Jidai matsuri festival
Jidai matsuri has many shinto rituals. They take place within a week.
October 15 13：00 Jidai matsuri Senjyo sai 時代祭宣状祭
Prior to the parede, it is held for the success of it at Heian Jingu shrine.
October 15 10：00 Jidai matsuri zenjitsu sai 時代祭前日祭
The eve of the festival is celebrated.
October 22 7：00 Jidai matsuri festival 時代祭当日
A ritulal is held at Heian Jingu shrine and the festival is started.
October 22 8：00 Shinko sai 神幸祭
Priests move the spirit of emperor Kanmu and Komei to palanquins called Gohoren (御鳳輦). These Gohoren depart Heian Jingu shrien to Kyoto Imperial palace.
October 22 12：00 The parade departs 出発
The parade leaves Kyoto Imperial palace to Heian Jingu shrine.
October 22 16：00 Daigokuden sai and Kanko sai 大極殿祭並還幸祭
The parade comes back to Heian Jingu shrien and the spirits of two emperos return to the shrine.
*Not open to public
Jidai Gyoretsu parade
The parade of Jidai matsuri festival is called Jidai Gyoretsu. It goes on in anti-chronicle order. In this artilcle, we see it in chronicle order to understand Japanse history with ease.
Each unit of the parade stands for a period in Japanese history. The garments and equipments are made in exactly the same way in the period they belong to. The price tag of some of them are over 1 bilion yen. Some of the women in the parede are Maiko/Geiko.
Shiko retsu 神幸列
The spirit of the emperors are in Gohoren. Gohoren is a special carry for the emperor. On top of it, there is a figurine of Ho-oh, the Japanese phoenix.
This is a Kingai, a shade for the emperor. He walks under it.
They brought flowers to the Imperial Palace from the foot of Mt. Hiei.
They leads Shinko retsu playing Japansed traditional music named Gagaku.
Sakaki is scred plant in the Shinto.
Kabin Ryoga 迦陵頻伽
The boy is a dancer. Kabin Ryoga is a imaginary bird living in Gokuraku jodo, a kind of heaven. If you are interested in Gokuraku jodo, see the link below.
Kocho means betterfly. He also is a dancer performing Kocho no mai dance.
The chapter “The Butterflies” in The Tale of Genji is named after the dance.
Sinsen Kosha retsu 神饌講社列
Shisen is a meal prapare for Deity. It is brought in a small box named Shinsen Karabitsu(神饌唐櫃).
Enryaku period 延暦時代
Enryaku period is the rein of emperor Kannmu.
The military personnel 延暦武官行進列
In this period, armors are in primitive fashion. The man on a white horse is Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. He is a general and shogun(征夷大将軍) conqured Emishi, the ethnic group lived in Tohoku region. His armor is plastered genuine gold.
The court nobles 延暦文官参朝列
In the period, court nobles went to the Imperial court to offer greetings ot the emperor.
They are in garments named Iho. The colors of them means their ranks. The purple is the highest.
Heian period 794~1185 平安時代
Heian period is the golden age of the court nobles and the Imperial court has strong infulence over political decision.
Heian jjidai fujin retsru (The ladies in Heian period)平安時代婦人列
Early heian period
She is Onono Komachi, a famous poet in the time. She was one of 6 great poets in the early Heian period.
The lady with a fan is Wake no Hiromushi. She is a sisiter of Wake no Kiyomaro, the famous adovocator of emperor Kanmu. Kiyomara advised to emperor Kanmu to move the capital to Kyoto.
They are orphans Hiromushi adopted. She established an orphanage for the first time in Japanese history.
They are court ladies in the rein of emperor Kanmu.
In this period, the outfits are under strong influence of Tang Dynasty.
Mid Heian period
The left is Murasaki Shikibu. She is the author of The Diary of Lady Murasakiwhich tells us what the Imperial court was at that time.
In this period, missions to Tang Dynasty was abolished and Japan developed its own style in any respect.
Late Heian period
The right is Seisyo nagon. She is the author of The Pillow Book. which shows us the life of court nobles.
The lady on hat is Tokiwa gozen. She asked Taira no Kiyomori, the plitical opponents of her deceased husband, to kill her instead of her children. Her courage made Kiyomori save their lives.
She is Yokobue, the Juliet of Heian period. She fell in love with Tokiyori, her Romeo, but his family rejected their marriage. He became a Buddhist priest. She found him in a small temple in Arashiyama but he didn’t meet her. After the incident, she became ill and passed away. The temple sitll exists in Arashiyama. It looks like a debris of temple and there are small figurine of them. One of may favorite place in Kyoto.
She is a famous lady-worrior in Heian period.
Fujiwara kygyo sancho retsu 藤原公卿参朝列
The court nobles enjoyed prosperous life and political power in Heian period.
Kamakura period 鎌倉時代
In Kamakura period, worrior class seized political power as same as the emperor and court nobles. Minamoto no Yoritomo established Kamakura Shogunate and started the feudalism in Japan. Japan was devided into two areas; The emperor and Imperial court ruled the West and Kamakura Shogunate did the East.
Shogunate in Japan was ligitimate because Shogun belonged to the Imperial lineage and is a decendent of the emperor. For example, Yoritomo was a descendant of emperor Seiwa.
In 1219, the third Shogun on Kamakura Shogunate was assisinated, and the Minamoto clan ceased to exist. Now the former Kamakura Shogunate was under the control of Hojo clan. It lose ligtimacy to rule beause the Hojos had nothing to do with the Imperial leanage.
The worriors in the pictures were enlisted to eliminate Hojo clan by the order of emperor Gotoba.
Ladies in the Middle ages 中世婦人列
This unit shows us ladies in 12~17th century.
She is Yodo dono, a concubine of Toyotomi hideyoshi. She dressed in typical outfit for lady in the 16th century.
She is Abutuni, the author of Diary of the Waning Moon. It describes how Japan was ruled by the empror and the imperial court and Kamakura Shogunate.
She is Shizuka Gozen, a tragic heroin in Japanese history. She is in typical dancing outfit.
They are Oharame ladies in the 16th century. They bring firewoods on their heads.
They are Katsurame. They came from Katsura region and sold sweetfish or candy in the center of Kyoto.
Yoshino period 1336~1392 吉野時代
In this period, two emperors ruled Japan and the Imperial cout was devided into two.
Kusunoki Masashige 楠公上洛列
Emperor Godaigo was ousted to Oki because he attempted to overthrow Kamakua Shogunate. With the fall of the Shogunate, he escaped Oki and came back to Kyoto. The worriors are security guards of him.
In Muromachi period, Ashikaga Shogunate gained gained control of Kyoto and the Impeiral court was on decline. Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji was built and famous Japanes cultures as Zen florished in this period.
He is a Sogun (the name remains anonymous ).
The armors of this period is so elegant. They are made of steel plates. These plates are tightened with beauful strings.
In Muromachi peirod, merchants gained prosperity and invented Furyu Odori dance performance.
Azico momoyama period 1573~1603 安土桃山時代
Onin no ran, the largest civil war in Janapnese history weakened Ashikaga Shogunate and Oda nobunaga dispeled Ashikaga Yoshiaki and Ashikaga Shogunate was over.
Oda Nobunaga 織田公上洛列
Oda nobunaga is one of the three great worrios and nearly seized huge political power over the archeplago but Akechi Mitsuhide, one of his advisor, rebeled against him. Mitsuhide tried to assisinate him at Honnoji temple. Nobunaga find he could not win and put fire on the temple and made Harakiri (Harakiri is death with extreame honor. If Mitsuhide could have killed him, he would be nothing but loser. ).
The armors in this period has peculiar ornamnts on helmet.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊公参朝列
After the death of Nobunga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi brought the archipelago under his control. He paid visit to the imperial court after the victory.
Edo period 1603~1868 江戸時代
Hideyoshi’s government was fallen by Tokugawa Ieyasu. He established Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Japan was under control. The empror and court nobles are not allowed to participate in politics in terms of law.
Under the rule of Tokugawa Shogunate, the emperor was highly respected because his legitimacy depended on Japanese mythology. Shogun was a person who had a premission to rule the country.
Ladies in Edo period 江戸時代婦人列
She is Kazunomiya. She is a daughter of emperor Ninko and married to Tokugawa Iemochi, the 14th Shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate.
She is Otagaki rengetsu, a famous poet in the period.
The lady in black kimono is a wife of a prosperous merchant. One day, a style competition was held. Participants except her were in gorgeous kimono. On the other hand, she wore simple and elegant black kimono and let her maid (the lady in red kimono) wear beautiful kimono thanks to the advice of Ogata Korin.
Meiji period 明治維新時代
In the 19th century, the renovation of Japan took place: The Meiji Restoration. Tokugawa Shogunate returned the previlage to rule the archipelago to the emperor for the purpose of carrying on renewal to give strength to the country.
Bakumatsu Shisi 幕末志士列
Bakumatsu Shisi is the hisorical figures helped Meiji restoration.
Ishin Kinno tai army 維新勤王隊列
When Meiji restoraton was still on, rebellions fought the war. This Ishin Kino tai army from Kyoto joined the Imperial army of Meiji restoration to put down them.
The governor of Kyoto prefecture and the mayor of Kyoto city lead the parade.
The route of Jidai matsuri festival 時代祭のコース
The route and time schedule
At 9:00, the parade departs Heian Jingu shrine to Kyoto Imperial Palace on the purple line. It arrives at Kyoto Imperial Palace around 10:00.
At 12:00, the parade departs Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu shrine. It arrives at Heian Jingu shrine around 10:00. Click the aliens and they show you the time the parede passes.
These times means the time the top of parade arrives the place. It takes about 2 hours for the parade to pass through a point.
For example, The parade arives at Heian Jingu shrine at 14：30. This means the top of the parade arrives there at 14：30 and the end of it does at 16：30.
Reserved seat 有料観覧席
The yellow lines in the map indicate the reserved seat. Check the official site below.
Access to Jidai matsuri
On the day of Jidai matsuri, routes of buses are changed. So, it is good idea to take subway or taxi. Bus is not recommedned.
Subway or Taxi!
Heian Jingu shrine
The blue train annotation is Kyoto municipal Subway Higashiyama station. It takes about 15 minutes walk to Heian Jingu shrine. The red bus annotation is bus stops near Heian Jingu shrine.
Kyoto Imperial Place
The blue train annotation is Kyoto municipal Subway Marutamachi station.
The red train annotation is Kyoto municipal Subway Imadegawa station.
The aliens are entraces and the yellow lines are reserved seat area.