Gion Festival, is one of the biggest rites in Japan (e.g. Tenjin Festival in Osaka and Kanda Festival in Tokyo,) is held in Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto. The long history, its luxurious atmosphere and the period of the event that takes one month to complete are also well known.
It is said that they started this ritual about 1,100 years ago as they set up 66 Japanese halberds, which is supposed to be the number of states existed at that time, and the ceremony to appease evil gods and the spirits of the dead praying for elimination of disaster.
The most exciting part is the 33 floats of Yamahoko Junko on the 17th and 24th. This event is designated as intangible cultural heritages on UNESCO.
Furthermore, the affair was performed separately again on July 17 and 24 in 2014 for the first time in 49 years.
Here are some attractive events below to join!
- Saki Matsuri （July 14 – 16）―― Each float lights up with traditional music beautifully and lively at night. (Expected plan: July 15 and 16 for Shijyo and Karasuma Street.)
- Saki Matsuri Yamahoko Junko （July 17）―― Leave Shijyo Karasuma at 9 for 23 floats. Shijyo Karasuma (9 am) →Shijyo Kawaramachi（9：35） → Kawaramachi Oike (10：20) → Shinmachi Oike(11：20)
Access：Namba Station→Umeda Station at Midosuji Line（about 9 min）
Umeda Station→Karasuma Station at Hankyu Line（about 40 min）