Aoi Festival

Painting of Aoi Festival
On the wall opposite of the Mifune Festival painting in the middle room of Shinden there is a painting of Aoi Festival as a representation of summer. Aoi Festival is one of the three big festivals in Kyoto (the other two are Gion Festival in July and Jidai Festival [Festival of Ages] in October). “Aoi” means “hollyhock,” and the namesake of the festival can be seen in the form of hollyhock leaves adorning both people and animals in the famous procession. The festival is held annually on May 15th, and features many people in Heian Period costumes and even horses and oxen. The procession starts at Kyoto Imperial Palace and continues on to Kamigamo Shrine after passing through Shimogamo Shrine. You can find a map of the parade course and times of arrival here (English & Japanese).

This weekend is a busy weekend for Kyoto! If you end up picking another event over Aoi Festival, feel free to come to see the painting at Ninna-ji in Shinden for a little glimpse of what you missed…