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Kyoto Aoi Festival

Kyoto Aoi Festival

The Kyoto Aoi Festival is one of the most famous festivals in the city. It is annually held on May 15 and is the festival of the two Kamo Shrines. The Kyoto Aoi Festival recreates a procession of officials who are delivering a message from the Emperor to the shrines.

The Kyoto Aoi Festival recreates a procession where over 500 people dressed in Heian Era clothes are delivering a message and offerings from the Emperor to the two Kamo Shrines. According to old records the messenger would be on horseback with a gold sword at his side as he led the procession. Part of the long train is another important figure, the High Priestess. Before the high priestess was chosen from the sisters related to the Emperor and served the Kamo Shrines. Today they are picked among the unmarried women in Kyoto. The high priestess performs the rituals at the shrines and prior the festival they must go through a purification ceremony. She is then carried on a palanquin while wearing many traditional kimono layers.

In the morning the festival begins at the Gosho Imperial Palace and firsts stops at Shimogamo Shrine. After the rites are performed, the procession continues to Kamigamo Shrine. Once the final rites are completed the Yabusame (horseback archery) demonstrations begin. The horseback archery course utilizes the grassy areas outside the main shrine. These horses run at full speed while skilled archers dressed in traditional attire fire arrows at a target from the steed. By around 5pm the Kyoto Aoi Festival comes to a close. Kyoto Aoi Festival can trace its origins back to the 6th century as it is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. During that time terrible weather was ruining the crops in the area and diseases were rampant upon the population. Diviners from that time said that it was the divine punishment of the deities from the Kamo Shrines. It was then the Emperor sent his messenger on a galloping horse with offerings for the deities. There were times when the festival did not happen due to governmental transition or war. The current festival has been annually held since 1953.

Please see below for tours that include Kyoto Aoi Festival:

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    question mark icon         Tour#: GTO0914422

The Golden Route Japan Tour Spring: Kyoto Aoi Festival arrow readmore icon

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka

    140 reviews

8 Days 7 Nights | from US $3398.00

The must see sights of Tokyo & Kyoto...plus the Aoi Festival.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 11, 2025 Sun. May 18, 2025 US $3398.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
Mon. May 11, 2026 Mon. May 18, 2026 US $3398.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTA5186182

The Golden Route Japan Tour Spring: Kyoto Aoi Festival with Expo 2025 Osaka arrow readmore icon

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka

    140 reviews

9 Days 8 Nights | from US $3798.00

The must see sights of Tokyo & Kyoto...plus the Aoi Festival and Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 11, 2025 Mon. May 19, 2025 US $3798.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTY0902484

Best of Japan Tour Spring: Kyoto Aoi Festival arrow readmore icon

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Obokekyo Gorge / Takamatsu / Kobe

    135 reviews

11 Days 10 Nights | from US $4598.00

Visit the most popular regions of Japan, sightsee the country's main cities, and observe the elegant Kyoto Aoi Festival.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 11, 2025 Wed. May 21, 2025 US $4598.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
Mon. May 11, 2026 Thu. May 21, 2026 US $4598.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTL5199631

Best of Japan Tour Spring: Kyoto Aoi Festival with Expo 2025 Osaka arrow readmore icon

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Obokekyo Gorge / Takamatsu / Kobe / Osaka

    135 reviews

12 Days 11 Nights | from US $4898.00

Visit the most popular regions of Japan, sightsee the country's main cities, and observe the elegant Kyoto Aoi Festival, plus Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 11, 2025 Thu. May 22, 2025 US $4898.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTY1663022

Japan In Depth: Kyoto Aoi Festival Tour arrow readmore icon

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Shimanami Kaido / Hiroshima / Kitsuki / Beppu / Takachiho / Nagasaki

    26 reviews

14 Days 13 Nights | from US $5898.00

Observe the graceful Kyoto Aoi Festival and travel deeper into Japan by exploring the country's three main islands.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Mon. May 11, 2026 Sun. May 24, 2026 US $5898.00 Tokyo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTG4866362

Japan In Depth: Kyoto Aoi Festival Tour with Expo 2025 Osaka arrow readmore icon

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Shimanami Kaido / Hiroshima / Kitsuki / Beppu / Takachiho / Nagasaki

    26 reviews

15 Days 14 Nights | from US $6198.00

Observe the graceful Kyoto Aoi Festival and travel deeper into Japan by exploring the country's three main islands, plus the Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai!

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 11, 2025 Sun. May 25, 2025 US $6198.00 Tokyo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTG1065452

Hokkaido, Tohoku & Central Japan: Cherry Blossoms, Baby Blue Eyes & Aoi Festival arrow readmore icon

Hokkaido (Sapporo / Otaru / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Hakodate), Tohoku (Seikan Tunnel / Morioka / Hiraizumi / Matsushima), Central Japan (Nikko / Hitachi Seaside Park / Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka)

    4 reviews

16 Days 15 Nights | from US $6698.00

Experience one of Kyoto's largest festivals, visit Japan's main cities, see the baby blue eye flowers, and catch sight of cherry blossoms in Northern Japan.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sat. May 3, 2025 Sun. May 18, 2025 US $6698.00 Sapporo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
Sun. May 3, 2026 Mon. May 18, 2026 US $6698.00 Sapporo Osaka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTF1673090

Grand Tour of Japan: Cherry Blossoms, Baby Blue Eyes & Aoi Festival arrow readmore icon

Sapporo / Otaru / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Hakodate / Seikan Tunnel / Morioka / Hiraizumi / Matsushima / Nikko / Hitachi Seaside Park / Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Shimanami Kaido / Hiroshima / Kitsuki / Beppu / Takachiho / Nagasaki

    9 reviews

22 Days 21 Nights | from US $8998.00

Take the ultimate journey to Japan during cherry blossom season, see the baby blue eye flowers, and view the elegant Aoi Festival.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 3, 2026 Sun. May 24, 2026 US $8998.00 Sapporo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTN4852991

Grand Tour of Japan: Cherry Blossoms, Baby Blue Eyes & Aoi Festival with Expo 2025 Osaka arrow readmore icon

Sapporo / Otaru / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Hakodate / Seikan Tunnel / Morioka / Hiraizumi / Matsushima / Nikko / Hitachi Seaside Park / Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Shimanami Kaido / Hiroshima / Kitsuki / Beppu / Takachiho / Nagasaki

    9 reviews

23 Days 22 Nights | from US $9298.00

Take the ultimate journey to Japan during cherry blossom season, see the baby blue eye flowers, and view the elegant Aoi Festival, plus visit the Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai!

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sat. May 3, 2025 Sun. May 25, 2025 US $9298.00 Sapporo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  
    question mark icon         Tour#: GTO6993507

Super Grand Tour of Japan - Cherry Blossoms, Baby Blue Eyes & Aoi Festival arrow readmore icon

Sapporo / Otaru / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Hakodate / Seikan Tunnel / Morioka / Hiraizumi / Matsushima / Nikko / Hitachi Seaside Park / Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Hikone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Shimanami Kaido / Hiroshima / Kitsuki / Beppu / Takachiho / Nagasaki / Okinawa


27 Days 26 Nights | from US $10998.00

The Super Grand Tour of Japan - Cherry Blossoms, Baby Blue Eyes and Aoi Festival is an extensive tour through all of Japan, planned to include the Kyoto Aoi Festival, the Baby Blue Eyes of Hitachi Seaside Park, and Hokkaido cherry blossoms.

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sun. May 3, 2026 Fri. May 29, 2026 US $10998.00 Sapporo Okinawa Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  




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