When it first began, Ouchi Hiroyo, the man in charge of Yamaguchi, was modeling the city after Kyoto, and when he brought the Yasaka Shrine from Kyoto and implanted its deity’s spirit in it during the Kanjo ceremony, it gave birth to the Yamaguchi Yasaka Shrine. The Gion festival, a native event of Kyoto, also came with it and the Yamaguchi Gion festival took shape.
The “Dance of the Heron” held on the opening day is special to Yamaguchi in that it is not a part of the Kyoto Gion festival, its predecessor. Adult men clad in male and female heron costumes put on a 3 minute performance which has been inducted as a Folk Cultural Property by the prefecture. It has that much history. You have to check out these herons kick the festival off!
On the 24th, over 1000 residents of Yamaguchi City join this dance every year and parade through the streets swaying to the music. Dance groups the participate from many different neighborhoods perform with loads of original flavor to the song “Imperial Lord of Ouchi”.
One highlight of this festival is the Mikoshi (portable shrine) that is carried all throughout the event. On the first day, the city is circled by three mikoshi and two
Please sign up beforehand to participate in the carrying of the mikoshii.
When carrying the mikoshi, men are to be topless and must wear appointed white pants and shoes. Women are to rent traditional jackets known as hanten.
JR Yamaguchi Line, Yamaguchi Station
Nearest Bust Stop
Cugoku JR Bus/Bocho Bus Company, JR Yamaguchi Station Bus Stop
Address: Yamaguchi City, Kamitatekoji 100, Yasaka Shrine
20min walk from Yamaguchi Station
Otabi-jo / Center city shopping district
Just outside of Yamaguchi Station
300m from Yamaguchi Station Bus Stop