Mitarai-i well (Gion Matsuri,location,history)

Mitarai-i well, Gion Matsuri

The information about Mitarai-i well is presented here. At Mitarai-i well, the ido-biraki (opening of the wel) and the yohai-shiki (worship ceremony) are held on July 15th during Gion Matsuri Festival period, and until about 1970, Chigo of Naginata Hoko would 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.

【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)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: free
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: free

【Mitarai-i well History】

Mitarai-i well (Mitarashi-i well, Yasaka Shrine Mitarai-i well, 御手洗井) was once the residence of Fujii Sukemasa, the shamu (chief administrator) of Gion Shrine (Yasaka Shrine) Otabisho. On the site of the residence, Gozutenno Shrine was built in front of the garden to enshrine the main deity of Gozutenno (Susano-no-mikoto), and the well water of Mitarai-i well was offered every morning. Incidentally, on the north side along Karasuma-dori was Shoshoi Otabisho, which enshrined Shoshoi Mikoshi (portable shrine) carrying the divine spirit of Harisainyo (Kushiinadahime-no-mikoto), wife of Gozutenno (Susano-no-mikoto), and on the south side along Karasuma-dori was Omandokoro Otabisho, which enshrined Omandokoro Mikoshi (portable shrine) carrying the divine spirit of Gozutenno (Susano-no-mikoto) and Hachioji Mikoshi (portable shrine) carrying the divine spirit of Hachioji (Yahashira-no-mikogami), eight children of Susano-no-mikoto. The three Mikoshi (portable shrines) were enshrined from Shinko-sai to Kanko-sai during Gion Matsuri Festival. Shoshoi Otabisho and Omandokoro Otabisho were consolidated and moved to the present Yasaka Shrine Otabisho in 1591 by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It is said that Fujii Sukemasa’s residence was moved in 1568 when Oda Nobunaga first came to Kyoto, but because the water quality of the well was good, he gave the townspeople a locked key and opened the well during Gion Matsuri Festival. It is said that drinking the water from the well with Ankoro-mochi on Doyo Day will bring good luck against illness for a year. In the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600), the name of the town was changed to “Tearaimizu-cho”, after Mitarai-i well, at the request of the townspeople. When Karasuma-dori was expanded in 1912, Mitarai-i well was moved to the east side in its original form. The water vein was once cut off due to the construction of the Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line, but the well was revived by being drilled again. It is also said that Mitarai-i well is connected to the well under Honden (Main Shrine) of Yasaka Shrine.
*reference・・・Mitarai-i Well website

【Mitarai-i well Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Mitarai-i well pumps water from about 70 meters underground. The water is potable.

【Events (confirmation required)】

★At Mitarai-i well, the ido-biraki (opening of the wel) and the yohai-shiki (worship ceremony) are held on July 15th, and it is open until July 24th, when Latter Festival Yamahoko-Junko (Float Procession, Yamaboko Parade) and Kanko-sai are held. In the ido-biraki (opening of the wel), the shimenawa (sacred rope) that decorates the Torii Gate is renewed, and the sacred foods such as chimaki, dried 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.
●Gion Matsuri Festival 2024 will start on July 1st, 2024 and end on July 31st, 2024.
Gion Matsuri Festival Schedule (July 1st-31st)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-561-6155(Yasaka Shrine)

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Mitarai-i well is to Omandokoro Otabisho, which is located on the south side. A 10-minute walk will take you to Omandokoro Otabisho, which is located on the south side of Karasuma-dori. Omandokoro Otabisho, along with Mitarai-i well, is associated with Gion Matsuri Festival, and you can feel the history of Gion Matsuri Festival. It is also recommended to take a walk along Shijo-dori from Mitarai-i well.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Mitarai-i well, be sure to check the latest information.


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