Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gion-Festival (祇園祭) Kyoto

"Gion Festival"(祇園祭) is one of the most famous festivals in Japan.
This festival dates back to the Middle Ages,more than 1000 years ago.
Exorcising evil spirits is the main purpose of this festival.
It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade.
The street is crowded with so many people.

So many lanterns...
Tonight is the previous night of big parade.
We call this "Yoiyama",
which means the night before the parade.
This float is called "Kitakannonyama"(北観音山),
which is decorated with beautiful tapestries
 both from Nishijin and imported from all over the world.
This float is going to parade down the street tomorrow.

Children dress in yukata,enjoying the festival.

This is also float shaped like a ship.
This is also decorated beautifully.
Tomorrow,about 40 people is going to get on this float
and parade down the street.

This ship is decorated by these imaginary birds
 made of mother-of pearl,gold,etc...

Even the ceiling is like a work of art...

The next day of "Yoiyama",
people march in procession around the Kyoto city.

Some floats are decorated with European tapestries.
These European tapestries are said to have been brought from Belgium,
about 400 years ago.

This festival takes place annually in Kyoto.(in July)
Every year,so many tourist come to see this festival.
This festival brings us the real feeling of summer.


  1. Oooh, how exciting! =D I'd love to be there at night to see the lanterns lit up!

  2. @molla,
    Thank you,the streets were so crowded,full of people...
    July 16 night is something you shouldn't miss...
    July 16 night is special night in Kyoto,called"Yoiyama"(宵山),pre-party of the parade. It is worth seeing than parade.
    I saw Poznan Lanterns at YouTube,it was really beautiful!

  3. @Trish,
    Thank you=D I recommend July 16 night.This is special night in Kyoto,the whole city is filled with excitement.Main streets became promenade temporarily,and there are full of street shops.
    And you can see beautiful floats and lanterns here and there.
    Please enjoy this festival with Japanese yukata^^

  4. Wonderful, this festival is amazing !!

  5. @Tifette,
    Thank you,Tifette!
    We hold this festival annually in July in Kyoto.
    This festival spans the entire month of July,and above all,July 16 night is special night.
    Main streets in Kyoto city are crowded with incredibly many people,and there are many beautiful floats and lanterns everywhere.
    It is really worth seeing:D
    My husband is struggling with hanafuda now=D

  6. Beautiful! O,how I would adore to witness this one day in July!
    Thanx for sharing this.

  7. @Saelok,
    Thank you very much.
    I'm very happy if you like this festival.
    Yeah,visiting Kyoto in July is good,
    especially July 16th night is very good,you can't miss it.The night is called "Yoiyama".

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