Ayakasa Hoko of Gion Matsuri Festival

Ayakasa Hoko of Gion Matsuri Festival

The information of Ayakasa Hoko is presented here. Ayakasa Hoko is a small-sized Yamahoko float (Kasahoko float). Ayakasa Hoko, together with Shijokasa Hoko, is said to be a Kasahoko float that inherited the old style that existed before the Onin War (1467-1477). Ayakasa Hoko is led by six chigo (children) who are called “Hoko Chigo” during Former Festival Yamahoko-Junko (Float Procession, Yamaboko Parade). During Former Festival Yamahoko-Junko, Hayashi-kata (music group) performs Gion-bayashi (Gion Matsuri music) and Bofuri with Shakumage (red bear hair) performs Bofuri-odori (dance).

【Ayakasa Hoko Location Map & Directions】

Address: Zenchoji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Subway Shijo Station (about 4 minutes on foot), Hankyu Karasuma Station (about 6 minutes on foot)
Location: Ayakasa Hoko is located on Ayanokoji-dori, about 90 meters west of the intersection of Muromachi-dori (north-south) and Ayanokoji-dori (east-west).

【Ayakasa Hoko (Ayakasa Boko) History and Brief Overview】

The origin of Ayakasa Hoko (綾傘鉾) is not clear. There is a record of Ayakasa Hoko in the first half of the 15th century, before the Onin War (1467-1477), and Ayakasa Hoko is said to have been founded before that time. Ayakasa Hoko, together with Shijokasa Hoko (Shijo Kasaboko), is said to be a Kasahoko (傘鉾) float that inherited the old style that existed before the Onin War. Ayakasa Hoko is also depicted in the “Rakuchu Rakugai-zu Byobu (folding screen)”,which is owned by Bukkyo University, and other works. The “Rakuchu Rakugai-zu Byobu (folding screen)” depicts nine Yamahoko floats, and it is called Ayakasa Hoko because the chicken of Goshintai can be seen at the tip of the umbrella. Ayakasa Hoko was transformed into a smaller Hoko (鉾) float in 1834, but was destroyed by fire in 1864 at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868). After that, Ayakasa Hoko was revived once as Toho-hayashi (walking music) in its original form from 1879 to 1884, but it was soon suspended. In 1973, Bofuri-odori (dance) was revived with the cooperation of Mibu Rokusai Nenbutsu Kochu, and in 1979, Ayakasa Hoko was revived again and paraded in Former Festival Yamahoko-Junko (Float Procession, Yamaboko Parade).

★In Yamahoko-Junko, the procession of Bofuri wearing shakumage (red bear hair) and suri-kane (gongs), fue (flutes), and shime-taiko (drums) of Hayashi-kata (music group) walk together, and Bofuri-odori (dance) by Bofuri is performed at various places. It is said that Bofuri-odori (dance) and Bofuri-bayashi (music) have the same meaning as the festival of Imamiya Shrine, Yasurai Matsuri, to ward off plague and disease. Currently, the Mibu Rokusainenbutsu Kochu performs Bofuri-odori (dance) and Bofuri-bayashi (music).
*reference・・・Ayakasa Hoko website

【Features (subject to change)】

★Ayakasa Hoko weighs about 0.36 tons. (2008 Data) Ayakasa Hoko is marked by an umbrella about 2.6 meters in diameter.
★The umbrella part of two Ayakasa Hoko is scarlet canopy with a diameter of about 2.6 meters. One of the hoko-gashira is a chicken holding a golden egg in its right leg and standing on its left leg, and the other is a pine tree and two hakuhei. The railings and metal fittings on the body part were renewed in 1994 during the Gion Matsuri Festival Exhibition held at the Kyoto Museum of Culture to commemorate the 1,200th anniversary of the founding of the capital.
★The tari is the yuzen “Shiki-no-hana (Flowers of the Four Seasons)”, donated by Moriguchi Kako, a dyeing and weaving artist who is a human national treasure, and the tsudurenishiki “Hiten-no-zu” donated by volunteers in the town in 1992. The “Hiten-no-zu” is based on a mural painting (Important Cultural Property) in Amidado (National Treasure) of Hokai-ji Temple in Hino, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto. Amidado (Amida Hall) was destroyed by fire in 1221 during the early Kamakura period (1185-1333), but it is said to have been rebuilt soon after.
★Gion-bayashi (Gion Matsuri music) of Ayakasa Hoko includes “Watariuchideshi”, “Daiichi”, “Daini”, “Daisan”, “Daiyon”, “Daigo”, “Dairoku”, “Kagura”, “Yamatomai”, “Okina”, “Okinaue”, “Nishiki”, “Tsuru”, “Karigane”, “Yuki”, “Asahi”, “Waka”, “Kasumi”, “Take”, “Sue”, “Chidori”, “Omatsu”, “Hi”, and “Tsuki”, and others.
★Chimaki, which is said to bring good luck and ward off bad luck, hand towels, etc., are available for purchase.

【Events (confirmation required)】

★In Ayagasahoko-Chigo Shasan on July 7th, six chigo (children), and others visit Yasaka Shrine to report that they have been chosen and to pray for the safety of Gion Matsuri Festival. They walk around the main shrine 3 times clockwise, stopping at the front and back to pray.
★In Former Festival Yoiyama from July 14th to July 16th, Komagata-chochin lanterns of Ayakasa Hoko lit and Gion-bayashi (Gion Matsuri music) is played in the evening.
★In Hiyori-Kagura on July 16th, Hayashi-kata (music group) of Ayakasa Hoko go to Yasaka Shrine Otabisho while playing Gion-bayashi (Gion Matsuri music), and dedicate Gion-bayashi to pray for good weather on the next day, and for the safety of Former Festival Yamahoko-Junko (Float Procession, Yamaboko Parade).
★In Former Festival Yamahoko-Junko (Float Procession, Yamaboko Parade) on July 17th, Yamahoko floats, including Ayakasa Hoko depart from Shijo-Karasuma and parade along Shijo-dori, Kawaramachi-dori, and Oike-dori. Ayakasa Hoko is the 7th or 15th in the procession of Former Festival Yamahoko-Junko. The order of the 7th or 15th floats of Ayakasa Hoko and Shijokasa Hoko is decided by Kujitori-shiki on July 2nd.

【Ayakasa Hoko of Gion Matsuri remarks】
*Events may be rescheduled or cancelled. Also, the content of the event may have changed.


  1. 錦市場(Nishiki Market)
  2. 竹林の道(Bamboo Forest Path)
  3. 嵐山