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Gion Matsuri in Kyoto – One of Japan’s 3 Greatest Festivals

A Festival that Spans a Full Month with Over 1100 Years of History. This article will introduce “yoiyama” and “yamaboko junko,” two of the top events during the month-long festival. The “Kyoto Gion Matsuri Yamaboko Gyoji” is a registered UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine – “Yabusame-Shinji”

“Yabusame-shinji,” held at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine, takes place in early May every year. 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.

A Kyoto Spring Tradition, “Aoi Matsuri” (“Hollyhock Festival”)

Aoi Matsuri is an annual festival of Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. The official name of the festival is Kamo no Matsuri (Kamo Festival).Aoi Matsuri is one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, and it is known for having old-fashioned sense of refined grace. Out of modern-day Japanese festivals, Aoi Matsuri is one of the few festivals remaining that truly preserves old dynastic traditions.

Osaka, Koinobori Festa 1000

In the Koinobori Festa, around 1000 carp-shaped streamers are hung as wishes for children’s health and for protection of the Akuta River, a symbol of Takatsuki City.

Nara Prefecture’s Todai-ji – Nigatsu-do Shuni-e

First held in the year 752, this event has been held every year without fail for over 1260 years!
Held by the temple’s monks in front of Nigatsu-do’s figure of the Eleven-Headed Kannon, the temple’s idol, the event exists to repent for the everyday sins of humanity and wish for everyone’s happiness.