The Gion Festival - 祇園祭 - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Gion Festival - 祇園祭

The Gion Matsuri is one of Japans most famous festivals, and it takes place in Kyoto in July every year. The festival lasts for weeks, with new things happening every day, which is a good thing for me since I have been quite busy writing reports the last couple of days.
But this morning I finally finished my last report for this semester, so me and Yuma decided to go into town and enjoy the festival.

After spending some time hanging out in the city we headed for Yasaka Shrine. We were lucky with the timing, because we just arrived in Gion when one of the parades were about to start, and we managed to get good spots as well. The Gion Matsui is really popular, there were so many people it was almost impossible to move..
The parade is about to start
Waiting for the 祇園祭-parade to start
There were quite a lot of people participating in the parade..

..And there are some children who are participating in the parade as well, though most of the participants are grownups..
After having watched the whole parade we continued our towards Yasaka Shrine again. Though there was a lot of people on the sidewalk there was no cars on the road, so we took the easy way..
Yasaka Jinja is of course also quite crowded during the festival..
 At the Yasaka we met up with Asami and Tomoya, who also had been hanging around town for a couple of hours. We first decided to find a place we could eat ice cream, but ended up in a Mexican restaurant instead.
Yuma, me, Asami and Tomoya in front of Yasaka Jinja
 Mexican food is not that common in Japan actually, at least not in Kyoto; you have to go to special stores where they sell foreign food in order to find it. But there are some Mexican restaurants in Kyoto though, and the one we went to was called the "Mexican House Vicuña" - メキシカンハウス ビクニャ near Sanjo.
Time for dinner and Mexican beer!
Waiting for the dinner
 The dinner was really good, and there was even live music in Mexican style! The only thing that kind of annoyed me a bit, was that the service charge was not included in the price of the dinner, cause it usually is in Japan.. But anyway, we had a good time and the music was great as well.
A picture of the restaurant
 When we got out of the restaurant we run into another parade on the way to the place we had parked our bikes. Lucky! Seems that the Gion Matsuri never ends:).. A great day, and I'm already looking forward to celebrating this festival next year as well. Then I'm going to wear a yukata for certain.!

Our last glimpse of Gion Matsuri: a Mikoshi (神輿)
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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