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Kyoto’s Streets are about to Transform into a Real-Life Showcase of Japanese History

October 20, 2018 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Kyoto is about to give travellers the unique opportunity to time-travel back through the centuries with the Jidai Matsuri, “Festival of Ages”, bringing to life the old days of Japan in a unique celebration of history and tradition.

Held on 22nd October 2018, the annual festival will showcase the eight eras of Japan’s history from the Meiji Restoration (around 1868) to the Enryaku period (782-806).

2,000 Kyoto citizens and school children proudly take part in the procession representing noted historical figures throughout the ages, in what would have been their traditional costumes, garb and armory of the time.

In total, more than 12,000 period costume and ceremonial items created by Kyoto artisans bring authenticity, colour and life to the past, with each era within the procession providing a unique time capsule to experience the unfolding de-evolution of Japan’s changing fashions, culture, influences and history.

Jidai Matsuri is held every October 22nd as it is on this day in 794 AD that the then Emperor Kanmu made Kyoto Japan’s imperial capital, something that would continue for over 1,000 years right through to 1869 when the capital was then moved to Tokyo.

Over the course of two hours, the parade covers 2 kilometres from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu Shrine and is a brilliantly assembled procession of 2,000 members including 70 horses, 2 oxen, and numerous carriages.

“Whilst Kyoto is a goldmine for all types of celebrations, the Jidai Matsuri appeal is an extra special one” said Alison Roberts-Brown, Director of Tourism Garden, the representative of Kyoto City Tourism Association in Australia.

“More than just a festival, Jidai Matsuri provides a unique real-life insight into Japan’s fascinating history and heritage, making it one of the most memorable festival experiences one can have” she added.

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