AsiaJapanKyoto

Yukata & Gion Matsuri in Kyoto!

Kyoto Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 13 › view all entries
Kyoto and Gion matsuri

The day has come~! It's our Kyoto excursion with AyaKa-chan where we planned to rent a yukata for the day, walk around Kyoto's Higashima District on Kyoto's first day of the Gion Matsuri!

Matt and I with Mike woke up bright and early. Meeting time was at 8am and we didn't want to be late.

After a handful of text/email msgs between Ayaka and I, we finally set a time and place to meet for our Kyoto excursion. Needless to say, there was a misunderstanding. I thought we were going to meet at the Kyoto Station Line in Umeda while Ayaka meant Kyoto Station in Kyoto. We ended up meeting an hour later than planned and off we where to Higashima district to get dressed up in our rented yukata for the day. Matt and Mike went off to the Golden pavilion and we planned to meet up later on.

We found the small shop, tucked hidden away with only a small door and a yukata by the entrance to show the way.

Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Inside is a lovely small Japanese garden, wherein we were greeted by one of the ladies who showed and assissted us to a rackful selection of yukata and its accompaniments before leading us to the 2nd floor to be outfitted and had our hair fixed - all for $38! The rental time for 12 hours, until 8pm. They also sell a yukata set for $65 which I later on purchased.

After getting all dressed up and a photo-op at the garden, we walked to Kiyomizerudera, "Pure Water Temple", one of the most celebrated temples in Japan, where one can see a beautiful view of Kyoto. People where taking pictures of us which was disconcerting but eventually we got used to it and just continued to walk around. It was difficult to walk in a yukata with our legs limited to small steps. Ayaka and I found it amusing.

In Kiyomizerudera, there is also the Jishu Temple, dedicated to the deity of love, where with Ayaka's insistence, I attempted to complete the 'stone of love' challenge.

Kyoto and Gion matsuri
The stone of love challenge is where a person will walk from one end towards the 'stone of love' with their eyes closed, and assisted by one of the his/her family/friends, without opening their eyes. It is said that if one accomplished this fete, one can find love soon and with the assistance from family/friends. If one does not complete the challenge, they will take a while for one to find one's love. Yeah, so I didn't complete the challenge. ::pouts:: Instead, Ayaka and I went to the far end and prayed for luck in love instead (3 coins and 3 prayers) to the deity of love. And just to make sure, I bought Ayaka and I some love charm! Hahaha... Take that! 


It was very hot and humid. After visiting the Kiyomizerudera, we took a break and treated ourselves to some green tea shaved ice, topped with red bean paste and mochi. Yummy~! We then followed the trail to the Yasaka Shrine where the Gion festival starts. We found some stores so I bought a couple of wakizashis (close combat Japanese swords) to give to friends as presents.

Kyoto and Gion matsuri
When we reached Yasaka, there were food and souvenir stalls set up. We bough some takoyaki, bbq, and played the catch-the-fish game and I have been itching to play since last year's visit.

Matt and Mike later joined us. Ayaka and I was exhausted, so after resting, we visited another temple between the Yasaka Temple and Kiyomizudera trail. It was a temple dedicated to Japanese soldier who lost their lives at war in the past 100 years. 

Matt had to leave for Osaka to meet a friend, so Mike, Ayaka and I walked around the Gion District to see if we can catch any geishas. No luck. We then walked to where the the Gion matsuri's booths were located. The entire street was closed to traffic and a crowd - young and old, most in yukatas - walked towards one direction.

Huge floats were on the streets. It was great to see everyone (at least most people) in their yuakatas - even the guys although its predominantly the females who were in yukatas.

Kyoto and Gion matsuri
They were so kawaii~! There were stalled for more than 6 blocks. Food I love. Takoyakis. Okonomiyakis. Shaved ice. Even pickled cucumber on a stick. Grilled corn. Japanese street-festival food that I was tempted to eat but needed to refrain from buying. The smell was wonderful!

After walking blocks, and the sun finally setting, Mike headed to Kyoto Station where we will meet him after we dropped off our yukatas.

We arrived before 9pm in Osaka, exhausted and satisfied, said 'matte ne' to Ayaka since we will see her the next day for the TB meet up!

ellechic says:
Thanks, Chris! Hope all is well in Osaka!
Posted on: Nov 24, 2009
reikunboy says:
Jenn , great blog. you girls are kawaii ne
Posted on: Nov 24, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto and Gion matsuri
Kyoto Sights & Attractions review
Very affordable Yukata & Kimono rental in Kyoto
Very affordable and an experience not to be miss, renting a yukata or kimono as you walk around Kyoto is one to the best things to do in Kyoto! The… read entire review
Kyoto
photo by: ys484