Japanese culture kyouto gion festival

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kyouto gion

What is kyouto Gion

The Gion Festival (祇園祭, Gion Matsuri) takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan.
Gion Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan for purification and pacification of disease causing entities. It takes place in the month of July on the 17th and 24th.
There are many ceremonies held during the festival, but it is best known for its parade, the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行).
The festival takes place at the Yasaka Shrine and the festival gets its name from the Gion district of the city.

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During the yoiyama evenings leading up to the parade, some private houses in the old kimono merchant district open their entryways to the public, exhibiting family heirlooms in a custom known as the Byōbu Matsuri, or Folding Screen Festival. This provides visitors with an opportunity to visit and observe traditional Japanese residences.

Japan history

This festival originated during an epidemic in 869 as part of a purification ritual (goryo-e) to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes.
In 869, when people were suffering from a plague attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō (牛頭天王), Emperor Seiwa ordered prayers to the god of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-Mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each of the traditional provinces of Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en, a garden, along with portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine. This practice was repeated wherever an outbreak of plague occurred. In 970, the festival became an annual event and it has since seldom failed to take place. During the Ashikaga shogunate, late 15th and early 16th century, the festival was halted.]Later in the 16th century it was revived by Nobunaga. Over time the increasingly powerful and influential merchant class made the festival more elaborate and, by the Edo period (1603–1868), it was using the parade to brandish its wealth.

Gion Matsuri: Yasaka Shrine Events (Omukae chochin/Hanagasa junko/Kankousai)


Smaller floats lost or damaged over the centuries have been restored, and the weavers of the Nishijin area offer new tapestries to replace destroyed ones. When they are not in use, the floats and regalia are kept in special storehouses throughout the central merchant district of Kyoto.

cited from Wikipedia

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