Gion Matsuri Festival Kyoto Reviews
Traditional festival to please the gods Jul 17, 2000
I only heard about this festival because a lady from the group I traveled with through Japan, mentioned it to our tourguide to make sure we arrived in Kyoto in the morning from Takayama.
I didn't know what to expect, but when we finally reached the location of the festival, I could understand why we had to visit it.
The Gion Matsuri Festival was held since the 794 for please the gods who were to believed responsible to cause all kinds of problems like diseases, floods and earthquakes that would ruin the harvest and caused destruction to the city.
But in later years, during the Kamakura Period, it also became a competition between guilds to show off their skills and wealth.
The festival lasts the whole month of july, starting at july 10th until the 14th, with theHoko and Yama Tate (float construction). We arrived in Kyoto on the 17th, so we missed all that, but go to witness the Yamaboko Junko, which is the grand parade.
The float moved through the city, with people dressed in traditional customes pulling, pushing and turning the 2 stories tall cars around the corners. There was quite a crowd already there lining the streets.
Depending on the day you arrive in Kyoto in july, this is certainly something you must see when you are there. Check online or ask at your hotel what you can expect to see on the day(s) you're in Kyoto.
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