Gion Matsuri Festival


It was back to Kyoto for another day to see this festival; when booking, I should have looked at the start time though as the festival went from 9AM -1PM. As I was up the mountains, this meant an early departure at just after 7, following watching the chanting at the temple. In Hindsight, staying the night before would have been better as according to some websites, there is a lot of activity in the run up such as food stalls and similar.

I arrived in Kyoto at about 10:30 and decided to walk up to the start point with my bag; when there, everything was really busy and it also looked to be finishing off so I decided to move up to the finish point. All in all, it was about a 3-4km trek in the heat and the subway would have been the better option!

At the finish point, it was a lot less crowded and there were still floats coming past so I decided to watch from there a bit. It was interesting to see the procession although it was far slower than the one in Fukuoka and the floats were very similar. I stayed from about 1-2 hours before making the move to my hostel. Overall, it was good to see but probably should have organised better and come the night before or even just stopped off for the festival and moved on to the next place.

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