WHERE: Himeji, Japan
WHEN: from 22 to 24 June
Yukata are traditional Japanese clothing, light and colorful, which are worn during the hot summer months.
Every summer, in many Japanese cities, events and festivals are organized that pay homage to this traditional garment.
Among these, one of the oldest and most renowned festivals takes place in the village of Himeji, in Hyōgo prefecture.
An event with a history of almost 300 years.
Its origins, in fact, date back to 1741, when a large street party was organized to celebrate the opening of the Osakabe Shrine.
Not having adequate notice to purchase a kimono, the Lord of Himeji Castle gave the inhabitants the opportunity to wear an informal suit.
Almost everyone took part in the event with a yukata. Thus was born the first (or one of the first) Yukata Festival of Japan.
Today, the festival draws thousands of people to Osakabe Shrine in central Himeji to celebrate and celebrate the tradition.
An event worth seeing.
Photo ©, Corpse Reviver
The Yukata festival takes place in the center of Himeji, in an area between the station and the Castle.
The village is located almost halfway between Okayama and Osaka, approximately 100 kilometers from both.
From Okayama station, by train (Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen), in just 20 minutes you will arrive at Himeji station. The ticket costs 4220yen.
From Osaka station, with the Tokaido-Sanyo line (A), you arrive at your destination in about an hour.
Both Osaka and Okayama have two major international airports.
From 22 to 24 June, in the area between the station and Himeji Castle, you will find many stalls.
The program includes an atmospheric yukata parade, a yukata fashion show and music and dance performances.
Anyone can participate in the festival and almost all of them do so wearing a yukata. In Himeji, there are numerous shops that sell them or, if necessary, rent them.
We recommend purchasing it: there is no better souvenir to take home after attending the festival.
Participating while wearing a yukata will also give you the opportunity to get discounts and a free entrance to the inside of Himeji Castle!
There are numerous sleeping facilities available near the center. Generally the average price of a double room is around €50 per night.
Among the various options is the Richmond Hotel located approximately 2500m from Himeji Castle and 2km from Himeji City Aquarium. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and free WiFi in all areas. Zenkyo-ji Temple is 8 km away and Shosha-zan Engyo-ji Temple is 10 km away. All rooms at Richmond Hotel Himeji feature air conditioning and a desk. A buffet breakfast is served each morning. Info and reservations from here.
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