Yamaguchi Gion Festival

(山口祇園祭)

Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Pref.

Over 400 Years Morning Join Chugoku Shikoku

About the festival

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.

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Things to do

1. This dance signals the beginning of the festival.

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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!

2. Over 1000 people dancing?!?!

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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”.

3. Try carrying the awe-inspiring Mikoshi!

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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 

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates July 20th, 24th, and 27th 2017
    Held annually on the same dates
  • Place Yasaka Shrine
    Yamaguchi center city shopping district
  • General Participation Participation is welcome, but prior signing up is needed.
  • International Reception and Info. None
  • Wi-Fi None
  • Restrooms Available
  • Other useful Info. There are reserved changing rooms for participants only
  • Contact Yasaka Shrine
    083−922−0083

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

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.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Nearest Station
JR Yamaguchi Line, Yamaguchi Station
Nearest Bust Stop
Cugoku JR Bus/Bocho Bus Company, JR Yamaguchi Station Bus Stop

Venue
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

Toshiki Nakamura
Writer
Loving Japanese anime and video games who grow up with Otaku culture.