Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine – “Yabusame-Shinji”
“Yabusame-shinji,” held at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine, takes place in early May every year. It is held as both a purification ritual and to ensure that Aoi Matsuri, or “Hollyhock Festival,” which is also held in May, can be carried out safely without problems.
During the event, archers on horseback ride through the forest and shoot at targets. It is said that, if the arrows meet their marks, there will be an abundant harvest of crops that year and wishes will be granted.
Yabusame (Horseback Archery)
Yabusame is a form of horseback archery. Enjoy the satisfying sound of arrows finding their marks on the targets and the impressive sight of swiftly running horses!
Another feature of this event is the traditional clothing worn by the archers. It’s almost like traveling back in time!
Standing seats are available for free, but paid seats up front are very popular! Chairs are also available. Ticket sales start at 12:00, and each seat costs 2000 yen. There are many visitors to this event every year, and seats sell out quickly, so we recommend that people who want to secure a good seat get there early!
The horses set out and arrows are fired at around 14:00.
The third target, by which the horses have really picked up speed, is very popular.
Using the flash on cameras is prohibited during the event to ensure that the horses are not startled. Other than that, feel free to relax and enjoy the sights!