Kyoto’s Aoi Festival Showcases Ancient Japanese Attire; Estimated 35,000 People Watch Procession from Roadside

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A procession travels to Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto on Wednesday.

KYOTO — The Aoi Festival, one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, was held on Wednesday, featuring a procession of people in ancient Japanese attire.

The about 1-kilometer-long procession departed from Kyoto Imperial Palace, with its participants wearing styles from the Heian-period (794-late 12th century). After visiting Shimogamo Shrine, the procession traveled to Kamigamo Shrine.

According to Kyoto prefectural police, about 35,000 people watched from the roadside.

Akiko Matsuura, who played the festival’s heroine Saiodai this year, said she was happy to see a lot of foreign tourists there.

“Amid the serious incidents that have occurred across the world, I think this festival for peace has a significant meaning,” Matsuura said.

The Yomiuir Shimbun
Akiko Matsuura, who plays the Aoi Festival’s heroine Saiodai this year