Himeji Yukata Festival

The Oldest Yukata Festival in japan, with a 260-Year History


In late June, thousands of people gather around Osakabe Shrine in the center of Himeji City for the annual Himeji Yukata Festival. This festival is a celebration of the yukata, a traditional cotton garment that is a symbol of Japanese fashion. With a history spanning 260 years, the Himeji Yukata Festival is the oldest of its kind in Japan. It attracts people from all over the country who come to experience the vibrant atmosphere and pay tribute to this cultural tradition.

Quick Facts

The Himeji Yukata Festival is known for attracting thousands of people wearing yukata. The festival also features numerous stalls offering a variety of goods and food. This creates a lively and bustling atmosphere that adds to the charm of the event. The origins of the festival can be traced back to the time of Sakakibara Masamine, who was the Lord of Himeji from 1732 to 1741. It is believed that he initiated the festival as a way to bring the community together and celebrate the local culture.

How to Get There

To reach the festival, one can start from Himeji Station and walk north along the wide Otemae-dori Street. The festival takes place in the center of Himeji City, between Himeji Station and Himeji Castle. The location is easily accessible and well-connected, making it convenient for visitors to attend the festival.

A Celebration of National Dress

Yukata are lightweight garments made from cotton, typically worn during the hot summer months in Japan. While there are several yukata festivals held throughout the country, the Himeji Yukata Festival holds a special significance due to its historical roots. The festival originated when Sakakibara Masamine, the Lord of Himeji Castle, decided to relocate Osakabe Shrine closer to the town center. To mark the shrine’s opening, a street festival was organized at short notice. Despite the existing taboo of wearing yukata in public, the townspeople were allowed to don these garments as there was not enough time to acquire more formal kimonos. This decision marked the beginning of the Himeji Yukata Festival and laid the foundation for its continued celebration.

Join in the Fun

Each year, a large number of visitors come dressed in yukata to participate in the festival. If you don’t have your own yukata but would like to join in the fun, several shops in the area offer rental services during the festival period. Wearing a yukata not only allows you to immerse yourself in the festive spirit but also provides additional benefits. Those dressed in yukata can enjoy discounts at select stores around the venue and even receive free entry to facilities around Himeji Castle. This adds to the allure of the festival and encourages more people to actively participate.

Recommended for You

Aside from the Himeji Yukata Festival, there are other attractions in the area that are worth exploring. One such recommendation is Mount Shosha, home to the Shoshazan Engyoji Temple. This serene temple complex offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and provides a tranquil escape from the bustling festival atmosphere. Visiting Mount Shosha and the temple can be a perfect complement to your experience at the Himeji Yukata Festival. It allows you to delve deeper into the cultural and natural beauty of the region.


The Himeji Yukata Festival holds a significant place in Japan’s cultural heritage. With a history spanning over two and a half centuries, it has become an integral part of the local community and attracts visitors from far and wide. The festival not only celebrates the yukata as a traditional garment but also serves as a platform to showcase the vibrant culture of Himeji City. By participating in the festival, visitors can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere, enjoy the various stalls and activities, and gain a deeper appreciation for Japanese fashion and tradition. The Himeji Yukata Festival is a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic cultural experience in Japan.

Address And Maps Location:

68 Hon-machi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo-ken

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