Kyoto events and festivals are a reflection of the city’s rich cultural heritage. The city, which served as the capital of Japan for over a thousand years, is home to numerous shrines and temples, many of which host festivals throughout the year. In addition, there are also several annual events that take place in Kyoto, showcasing the city’s art, music, and traditional culture.

Gion Matsuri

One of the most famous festivals in Kyoto is the Gion Matsuri. This festival, which takes place in the month of July, is a month-long celebration that features a parade of floats, known as yamaboko, which are decorated with intricate carvings and colorful tapestries. The festival also includes traditional music and dance performances, as well as food and drink vendors. The highlight of the festival is the Yamaboko Junko parade, which takes place on July 17th and 24th, and features dozens of floats being pulled through the streets of Kyoto.

Aoi Matsuri

Another famous festival in Kyoto is the Aoi Matsuri, which takes place on May 15th. This festival is a procession of more than 500 people dressed in traditional Heian-era clothing, who walk from the Imperial Palace to the Kamo Shrine. The procession is led by men dressed as aristocrats and courtiers, followed by women dressed in elegant kimonos and carrying traditional parasols. Along the way, the procession stops at several shrines and temples, where they offer prayers and perform traditional dances.

Jidai Matsuri

The Jidai Matsuri is a historical festival that takes place on October 22nd. This festival, which is also known as the Festival of Ages, celebrates the founding of Kyoto by recreating historical scenes and costumes from different eras of Kyoto’s history. The festival features a parade of people dressed in the traditional clothing of different periods, from the Heian period to the Meiji period.

Kyoto Festival of the Arts

The Kyoto Festival of the Arts is an annual event that takes place in the month of October. This festival features a wide range of performances, including traditional music and dance, as well as contemporary art and music. The festival also includes exhibitions of traditional art and craft, as well as workshops and lectures.

Kyoto International Film and Art Festival

The Kyoto International Film and Art Festival is an annual event that takes place in the month of October. This festival features a wide range of films, including feature-length films, documentaries, and short films, as well as art exhibitions. The festival also includes workshops, lectures, and panel discussions on film and art-related topics.


Kyoto is a city that is steeped in tradition and culture, and this is reflected in the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year. From the grand Gion Matsuri to the historical Jidai Matsuri, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re interested in traditional music and dance, or contemporary art and film, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Kyoto.