Every year on October 22nd, a unique portal to travel back in time opens in Kyoto. Known as Jidai Matsuri, or Festival of Ages, the event is a spectacular procession showcasing the eight different eras of Japan’s history from the Meiji Restoration (around 1868) to Enryaku period (782-806) in reverse chronological order.

2,000 Kyoto citizens and school children proudly take part in the procession representing noted historical figures throughout the ages, in what would have been their traditional costumes, garb and armory of the time. In total, more than 12,000 period costume and ceremonial items created by Kyoto artisans bring authenticity, color and life to the past, with each era within the procession providing a unique time capsule to experience the unfolding de-evolution of Japan’s changing fashions, culture, influences and history.

Jidai Matsuri is held every October 22ndas it is on this day in 794 AD that the then Emperor Kanmu made Kyoto Japan’s imperial capital, something that would continue for over 1,000 years right through to 1869 when the capital was then moved to Tokyo.

Over the course of two hours the parade covers 2 kilometers from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu Shrine and is a brilliantly assembled procession of 2,000 members including 70 horses, 2 oxen, and numerous carriages.

Reserved seating (for a fee) at the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Oike-dori Street, and along Heian Jingu-michi Street is recommended for the best view of the procession. Reserved seating with English guidance (for a fee) is also available exclusively on Oike-dori Street.

Tradition meets contemporary design with the opening of the New Hall, Kyoto International Conference Center

October 2018 sees the opening of Kyoto’s latest world-class convention and exhibition venue – the ‘New Hall’ at the Kyoto International Conference Center (ICC Kyoto). The ‘New Hall’ is the third independent building within the ICC Kyoto complex and boasts a multi-purpose usage area of 2,000 square meters that can hold up to 2,500 attendees. The adjacent Event Hall (3,000 square meters) may be used simultaneously, allowing large-scale events for more than 4,000 attendees.

The ‘New Hall’ was created to incorporate the latest technology with a simple, yet very Kyoto-style design and aesthetic that includes the usage of wood materials, rice-paper wall features, locally produced Kyo-yaki ceramic tiles, traditional Nishijin Kyoto woven silk fabric brocade and traditional lacquered features. The venue employs the latest green and sustainable technology in both its construction and ongoing management, and features a highly sophisticated fiber-optic digital network system that connects throughout the entire ICC Kyoto Complex.

Just 15 minutes from the city center, ICC Kyoto is a large exhibition complex of 156,000 square meters that contains a Main Hall, Event Hall, Annex Hall, Japanese garden, and now a ‘New Hall’, as well as an adjacent hotel located along Lake Takaragaike. Since its opening in 1966, ICC Kyoto has welcomed more than 12 million guests from all over the world and is a regular venue for major international conventions, conferences, exhibitions and events.