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Gion Matsuri

Listed under Festivals in Kyoto, Japan.

  • Photo of Gion Matsuri
  • Photo of Gion Matsuri
  • Photo of Gion Matsuri
  • Photo of Gion Matsuri
Photo of Gion Matsuri
Photo by flickr user MShades
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If you want to experience traditional Japan the best place to visit is Kyoto during July for the month long Gion Matsuri celebrations. 32 enormous traditional carved wooded floats covered in ancient tapestries, some up to four storeys high and ten tonnes in weight, parade through the town as the celebrations reach a climax on the 17th of the month. Bands of musicians ride on the floats and teams below pull them through the streets of downtown Kyoto.

Street parties and markets with food and games are held during the rest of the month and many people dress in traditional kimono and geta (wooden raised flip flop style shoes.). Wealthy houses and kimono merchants traditionally open their doors and allow visitors to look at their most precious artefacts in a event called ‘Folding Screen Season‘.

The celebration originated in 869 when a priest lead a purification procession through the streets during a plague to try and please the Shinto gods. Kyoto is the most traditional looking of Japan’s cities and has some 1800 shrines and temples.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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