In fact, it is said that being hit by a little splash of the water dedicated to the god brings good luck. And it is also on these days that ancient families of the town open up their window so that people passing by can admire ancient heirlooms that have been kept for generations. It was originally celebrated whenever there was an outbreak. A variety of rituals and events are held across the month-long festival, which lasts from July 1st through the 31st every year. Gion Matsuri in Kyōto, Japan is one of the three largest festivals in Japan. It is held as both a purification ritual and to ensure that Aoi Matsuri, or “Hollyhock Festival,” which is also held in May, can be carried out safely without problems. It is a spectacular procession packed with children and women. It is the moment for the Yamaboko Junkō, the great floats parade. Japan Folklore & Culture On July 16th,  you can view traditional performances at Yasaka Shrine, including the stories of Shoki the demon queller, a fight between heavenly gods, and the defeat of the serpent Orochi by the god Susanoo. Often called the most famous festival in Japan, Gion Matsuri is the festival of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto that occurs over the whole month of July. They have been used for Japanese homes since long ago, but are rapidly disappearing in recent years due to lifestyle changes and a decline in materials. On the evening of July 17th, the portable shrines (mikoshi) parade from Yasaka Shrine to the Otabisho. Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station. A Complete 1-Day Walking Guide through Shibamata. The word Yamaboko refers to the two types of floats used in the procession: the 23 yama and 10 hoko. It is held every summer for the whole month of July and is meant to calm the spirits of the dead and ask for protection over the city to the God so that he can keep illnesses and natural disasters away. Gion Matsuri prominently featured 66 decorated halberds (hoko), one for each of the traditional provinces of Japan, were erected in a garden alongside portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine, all a part of a purification ritual. Furthermore, the noble Urabe Hiramaru raised 66 spears, one for each Japanese region, so to enclose the evil spirits inside and purify the capital. Experience the real Japan at our affordable ryokan. There are few paid seats available in front of city hall that need to be reserved in advance, but there is plenty of room to see the parade in all its glory elsewhere. Often called the most famous festival in Japan, Gion Matsuri is the festival of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto that occurs over the whole month of July. Every year, large floats called yamaboko parade through central Kyoto for around 2 hours, with 23 out on July 17th (the “saki-matsuri,” former parade) and 10 out on July 24th (the “ato-matsuri,” latter parade). Floats are divided into 2 groups, yama 山 (mountain) and hoko 鉾 (spear). Miyama is popular for its scenery that changes through the seasons and is known overseas for it's unspoilt Japanese landscape. There are still many well-preserved thatch roof houses built during the Edo period (1603-1867) remaining in nature-rich Miyama, located in the center of Kyoto Prefecture. The festival has its origins in Shinto rituals conducted to ward off the epidemic that plagued Kyoto in 869. Each yamaboko is decorated with its own unique and lovely designs, and they are sometimes referred to as “moving museums.” ", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. A confirmation email has been sent to your registered email address. Another is the local boy chosen as the divine messenger. During the entire month of July, members of the neighborhoods in the float-cart district gather together to hold the festival. ※We recommend visiting the saki-matsuri yoiyama, as more yamaboko will be out, and there will also be stalls set up to enjoy! Copyright © 2020 - All Rights Reserved. This is the Shimenawa-kiri (しめ縄切り), an act through which the divinity enters the human world by severing the limit that devised the two worlds, and it is with this act that the great celebration officially starts. Shintai dolls, believed to house the spirits of gods, ride upon each yama float.

It may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including and others. Gion is also known for the Gion Matsuri, the most famous festival in Japan. One of the reasons for the festival's impressiveness is its long and almost uninterrupted history. These performances feature elaborate costumes and masks. The second group brings 23 yama floats, smaller than the hokos, that carry life-size representations of important and famous characters. Till now, the opening the procession is always done by the Naginataboko (長刀鉾). This divine messenger, meant to serve as the page of the god Susanoo, undergoes weeks of special purification ceremonies and isolated living. The Byobu Matsuri, which coincides with the days of Yoiyama, involves local residents opening their front doors and exhibiting family heirlooms to passersby. A variety of rituals and events are held across the month-long festival, which lasts from July 1st through the 31st every year. “Yabusame-shinji,” held at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine, takes place in early May every year. Copyright © 2020 Kyuhoshi. In this program, you can experience cooking a "female snow crab rice bowl" inspired by a fisherman's meal. Gion Matsuri dates back to 863 CE when a plague was spreading through the city. In Kyoto, where there are many world-famous temples and shrines, you see many people wearing the traditional dress of Japan, the Kimono. Ato-Matsuri Yoiyama: July 21st-23rd We are waiting for your comments and experiences! From 2014, a second procession of floats was reintroduced on July 24 after a hiatus of 48 years. On July 24th, this double procession is repeated and in the evening and the three mikoshis are brought back to their temple. Thatch roof houses are houses with roofs made of "kaya," a plant in the Poaceae grass family. The Gion Matsuri is not just Kyoto’s biggest festival – it’s one of Japan’s biggest annual events. During the three days preceding the procession, the respective yama and hoko are displayed within about a half kilometer of the intersection of Karasuma and Shijo streets (see map below). During yoiyama, some yamaboko will let people climb up to the top if they purchase a chimaki! Yasaka Shrine can be accessed in about 5 minutes’ walk from. Byobu Matsuri occurs on July 23rd, is when local families open their doors to display heir family heirlooms to passerby. The same goes for July the 21st, 22nd and 23rd. This involves carrying the shrine’s god from its place in Yasaka Shrine in a wheeled portable shrine, usually carried by men on their shoulders.

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