Gion festival

Monday, October 26, 2009

[Click on the photos below for bigger size..]
The Gion-Matsuri Festival spans the entire month of July and is known as one of the three greatest local festivals in Japan. It is crowned on July 17th by a parade in which 32 enormous floats, adorned with ancient tapestries from the world over, are pulled through town with by volunteers with their bar hands alone. During the height of the festival, streets bustle late into the night with crowds of people in traditional dress and with booths selling barbequed chicken skewers, traditional Japanese sweets and many other culinary delights.

The Gion-Matsuri Festival began in 869 while Kyoto was in the grip of a horrible plague. At the behest of the emperor, a priest from Yasaka-jinja Shrine led a procession through the streets to pray for mercy from the god who was the source of the disease. The pestilence subsided but ritual continued, gradually evolving through the years into its modern form.

The floats are lined up on Shijo-dori from the 14th to the 16th of July to admire and tour. Each float has a specific meaning, and sells talismans related to it. On the night of the 16th a number of demonstrations of traditional Shinto performing arts are held at Yasaka-jinja Shrine. A number of smaller events are held throughout the month.

Most visitors to the festival opt to stand and watch the main parade on the morning of the 17th, but seating is also available for several thousand yen. Inquire at your travel agency or the tourist information center if you are interested. The most interesting points to watch the parade are perhaps Shijo-Kawaramachi and Kawaramachi-Oike. At these intersections, the massive floats are turned, like clockwork, at right angles using wooden boards.

The preparation of the festival is very much a community affair. Residents of the areas around which the festival takes place put their heirlooms on display for the public to view during the 14th through the 16th. They assemble the floats and break them down immediately after the parade on the 17th has ended.

Downtown Kyoto is open only to pedestrians during the nights of the 14th, 15th, and 16th.

I am showing you the photos I took during attending the festival at Shijo-Kawaramachi in Kyoto city of JAPAN. Hope you like them...

[Click on the photo for bigger size..]

Crowded of people in the outside of the gate from Shijo-Kawaramachi Hankyu station
Policemen are controlling the intersection of Shijo-Kawaramachi dori
Some shops closed and the staffs just enjoying from inside
They are coming

The first big float is going to turn left
Here it goes
Some staffs of coffee shop are enjoying from....the roof
It successfully turned left
The traditional instruments players on the float
Man with big jute rope on his neck
Men and children are matching

It looks like in the ancient movies

In front of Hankyu station
You can see how big is the wooden-wheel
Time for click on my Google Ads friends!
some notes from KyotoGuide book

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