Mitarai-i ido-biraki of Gion Matsuri (July 15th, 2024)

Mitarai-i ido-biraki of Gion Matsuri

The information of Mitarai-i ido-biraki is presented here. Mitarai-i ido-biraki is held every year on July 15th. In Mitarai-i ido-biraki, Mitarai-i well in Tearaimizu-cho, Nakagyo-ku is opened from July 15th to July 24th. In Mitarai-i ido-biraki, the shimenawa (sacred rope) that decorates the Torii Gate is renewed, and the sacred foods such as chimaki, dried tobi-uo (flying fish), and gourds are offered, and people wash their hands and mouths with the well water to pray for the safety of Gion Matsuri Festival.

【Mitarai-i ido-biraki 2024 Schedule (confirmation required)】

Mitarai-i ido-biraki 2024 will be held on Monday, July 15th, 2024 at around 7:00.
●Gion Matsuri Festival 2024 will start on July 1st, 2024 and end on July 31st, 2024.
Gion Matsuri Festival Schedule (July 1st-31st)

【Mitarai-i well Location Map & Directions】

Address: Tearaimizu-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Sabway Shijo station (about 5 minutes on foot), Hanyu Karasuma Station (about 4 minutes on foot)

【Mitarai-i ido-biraki of Gion Matsuri brief overview】

Mitarai-i ido-biraki (御手洗井井戸開き) of Gion Matsuri Festival (祇園祭) is held every year on July 15th. In Mitarai-i ido-biraki, Mitarai-i well in Tearaimizu-cho, Nakagyo-ku is opened from Former Festival Yoiyama (Yoiyoiyama) on July 15th to Latter Festival Yamahoko-Junko and Kanko-sai on July 24th. In Mitarai-i ido-biraki, the shimenawa (sacred rope) that decorates the Torii Gate is renewed, and the sacred foods such as chimaki, dried tobi-uo (flying fish), and gourds are offered, and people wash their hands and mouths with the well water on the day the well was opened, to pray for the safety of Gion Matsuri Festival. Incidentally, until about 1970, Chigo of Naginata Hoko visited Mitarai-i well on the day of Mitarai-i ido-biraki, and purified his hands with the well water and offered chimaki, and then presented the great long sword of Naginata Hoko at Omandokoro Otabisho in the south. In addition, the site of Mitarai-i well was formerly Otabisho where a mikoshi (portable shrine) was enshrined and the well water drawn from Mitarai-i well was offered daily to the deity Gozu Tenno (Susano-no-mikoto).

★Mitarai-i well is usually closed off by a wooden fence and is located behind Torii Gate. Mitarai-i well was once dried up during the construction of the Tozai Subway Line, but was later restored by drilling. It is said that drinking the well water from Mitarai-i well with ankoro-mochi on Doyo Day will bring good luck against illness for a year.
There is a legend that Mitarai-i well is connected to a well located under Honden (Main Shrine) of Yasaka Shrine. Incidentally, there is a well under Honden (Main Shrine) of Yasaka Shrine called “Ryu-ketsu”, which is said to be connected to Shinsen-en and To-ji Temple, and is one of the seven wonders of Yasaka Shrine. It is said that Oda Nobunaga moved the former Otabisho in 1568, but because of the good quality of the well water, he had the well opened during Gion Matsuri. Incidentally, 1568 was the year that Oda Nobunaga visited Kyoto for the first time.
★The origin of Yasaka Shrine is not clear. Yasaka Shrine was founded in 656 when Irishi-Omi, who came to Japan from Korai, enshrined Susano-no-mikoto, who was enshrined on Mt. Gozu in Shiragi, in Yasaka-Go, Otagi-gun, Yamashiro Province. Yasaka Shrine is said to have originated in 876 when a monk named Ennyo, built a small hall and enshrined a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, and in the same year Tenjin (Gion-no-kami) descended to the Gion-bayashi (forest) at the foot of Higashiyama.
★Tearaimizu-cho extends to the east and west of Karasuma-dori. It is said that in 1590, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi was developing the town of Kyoto, the townspeople requested that Toyotomi Hideyoshi change the name of the town to Tearaimizu-cho after Mitarai-i well. Karasuma-dori runs north-south from Imamiya-dori at the northern end to Jujo-dori South at the southern end. In Heian-kyo, Suzaku-oji was the main street, and today Karasuma-dori is also called “Ima Suzaku” because it runs north-south on the west side of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

【Mitarai-i ido-biraki of Gion Matsuri remarks】
*Events may be rescheduled or cancelled. Also, the content of the event may have changed.
祇園祭2024日程一覧(宵山屋台・山鉾巡行・・・)

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