Jidai Matsuri

1. The Jidai Maturi (Festival of the Ages) is held every October at the Heian Jingu shrine. It is one of the Three Great Festivals of Kyoto.

2. A grand procession of about 2,000 people dressed as historical figures of various eras starts at the Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) at noon and proceeds on foot for about 3 hours to the Heian Jingu, which is about 4.5 km away.

3. The procession is headed by the governor or mayor of Kyoto, followed by eight groups of people in 20-row formation representing the Meiji, Edo, Azuchi Momoyama, Muromachi, Yoshino, Kamakura, Fujiwara and Enryaku eras.

4. All furnishings, costumes and ceremonial equipment — recreated meticulously with the expert input and highest craftsmanship of Kyoto’s traditional artisans — are said to be valued at more than several billion yen (nearly US$ 100 million).

5. The way eras come and go in the procession is just like seeing a beautiful picture scroll that is definitely miyabi (“elegant” in Court language).

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