Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gion Matsuri Today

Today was sunny and I went out to cover (ahem...) Gion Matsuri. The festival lasted for two days, it is an annual event held by Mitate Shrine, located not far from Saijo Station. About the shrine, I will post its photo in the future.
Men and women took part in this event, carrying Mikoshi around the shrine's neighborhood as a form of entertainment (or I think offering) to Gods. If you notice from the photo above, foreigner can also take part in such festivals.
It was super sunny and hot as well, yet people were overwhelmed by the spirit of the festival.

The route to carry Mikoshi was quite long. At some spots, participants stopped to take a rest, they were offered drink and snack by some hosts and entertained by a traditional band group who followed Mikoshi until its last stop.

The last stop was at a sake house where final performance and blessings were done.


Anonymous said...

You really did a nice job in presenting this procession and the photos show what it is like, but being there is the real experience.

I lived in your country from 1953 through the summer of 1956. Most of the time was in Sendai shi, and early at Sapporo, Hokkaido. I was never farther south than Kamakura or Yokohama.

I have many fond memories of Japan, the people, their religion and customs and their cleanliness.

Babzy said...

wow beautiful photos and a great festival , people seems very happy :)

Vogon Poet said...

I like everything about this post, most of all the happy faces! Very nice photos.

Anonymous said...

The festival looks so colourful and interesting. It just makes me want to go and visit Japan so much!

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! Felt like I was in the festival, too! I will be visiting your country, soon. The photos are inviting and all show the rich culture of your place :)

henny said...

Thank you for the encouraging words. I'm glad you enjoy the photos.
@Abe, I know you were newly married when you had to serve in Japan. You stayed mostly in the northern part while I haven't been there. It's in my to do list before I leave Japan for good :). I hold an Alien Reg. Card.
@Kacper, just come :). You'll be very welcomed.
@Sashindoubutsu, there are festivals all the year, it's a good moment to enjoy some food only sold during the festival. Hey, I'm not a native :). Just want to share my Japanese experience with you all.