Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gion Matsuri: Yamahoko Junko 2006

A young man, dressed in his area`s yukata, seeking shelter from the relentless rain that threatened to dampen the festive atmosphere of Gion Matsuri`s most anticipated event: the procession of the gigantic yama and hoko floats. The umbrellaless men behind him wait patiently for their cue to continue pulling their float through the streets. The heavy rain kept spectators to a minimum this year, with only 130,000, almost half last year's record-high of 240,000 people.

Is it still raining? You better your yukata it is!

Maiko make their ways through the soggy streets of Gion beneath their beautiful oiled-paper umbrellas.


Inge said...

Question: if there are that many people there, how did you manage to get so close and take good photos? Are there secret viewing spots we should know about? I'm preparing for next year!

Melissa said...

Inge: It is possible to buy a spot in the spectator seating set up along a certain part of the procession route for 2000 Yen, but I have never bought the tickets.I dont think its necessary, as long as your willing to get up early (which one of your previous matsuri posts suggests you are :) and wait around once you've found a good spot.

When you arrive in Kyoto you can get a copy of the procession route from the tourist office in Kyoto station and go from there. Nothing about this festival is a secret...When in doubt, just follow the enormous crowds!