Monday, July 11, 2011
the Gion Matsuri (Gion Festival)
The Gion Matsuri (Gion Festival) is an annual month-long festival in Kyoto. It is one of the Three Major Festivals in Kyoto, also including the Aoi Matsuri (May) and Jidai Matsuri (October) and one of the Three Major Festival in Japan, also including Tenjin Matsuri (Osaka) and Sanno Matsuri (Tokyo).
The main parts of the Gion Festival are between July 14th and 17th. the downtowm Kyoto holds the huge street festivals at the nights of July 14th, 15th, and 16th (between 17:00 - 24:00 or later). On every major streets in the downtown Kyoto, there are many stalls selling foods and crafts. You can get very good deals for kimono and other Japanese traditional crafts or accessories there. My personal recommendation is Karasuma St. between Oike St. and Shijo St. Also, you can go to Shinmachi St. and Muromachi St.
The grand parade of the festival starts at 9:00 AM on July 18th. The best spot to see the parade is the intersection of Oike St. & Kawaramachi St. or Shijo St. & Kawarakamachi St.
Zen meditation class, Dharma talk, temple tour, and Zen temple stay in English are available at Shunkoin Temple.
Zen Meditation Class & Temple Tour Schedule