Gion Matsuri (festival) video

Gion Matsuri (festival) video

The 2010 Gion Matsuri (festival) parade of yama and hoko “floats” is coming up. This is a spectacle of ancient pageantry not to be missed.

Also, on the three days and nights leading up to the parade, Yoiyama (16th), Yoi-yoi-yama (15th) and Yoi-yoi-yoi-yama (14th), revelers stroll up and down shijo street and the other main downtown streets, many in colorful summer yukata, eating, drinking, carousing, visiting the floats and listening to the distinctive music of the festival.

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Gion Matsuri July 14-17

Gion Matsuri July 14-17

The Gion Festival (matsuri=festival) is the biggest event of the year in Kyoto, and one of the biggest in Japan. It started in 869 as an appeal to the gods after a plague, according to the official story. The huge pikes that spear the sky are meant to appease the gods, which doesn’t sound logical, […]

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Kurama Fire Festival

Kurama Fire Festival

Here it comes again, the Kurama Himatsuri is held every October 22 in a tiny mountain village in northern Kyoto. Starting at 6 pm with small kids and small torches, progressively larger torches are paraded up and down this one-street town by teams in traditional costume, as a thumping taiko beat stokes the enthusiasm. Take […]

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Jidai Matsuri, The Festival of the Ages

Jidai Matsuri, The Festival of the Ages

The Jidai Matsuri on October 22 is one of the “Three Big Festivals” of Kyoto, and celebrates the history of Kyoto with a parade of reenactors in costume, on horses, atop wagons, and with all manner of attendants and accoutrements. They depart the old Imperial Palace (called Kyoto Gosho) at noon, but it takes more […]

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Inside the Kurama Fire Festival

Inside the Kurama Fire Festival

Inside the Hara House during preparations for the Kurama Fire Festival. My forthcoming documentary will show the building of the torches and other preparations for the neighborhood tradition that goes back more than 1,000 years, as well as interviews and extended footage of the wild torch runs. Sorry for the nasty watermark but I’m protecting […]

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