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Our recommendation! “Autumn in Kyoto”

  It has continued to autumnal good weather for more than two weeks in Kyoto. Mountains and leaves are turning to be red and yellow day by day. Climax of the autumn leaves in Kyoto is late November to first week of December usual year. How will be the autumn leaves of this year? Time when the autumn leaves look most beautiful is about 15:00 to 16:00. To tour the lights up autumn leaves at night admission of temples is also recommended. It is nice for long night in autumn. It has become the annual event at many temples where are famous for autumn leaves. My personal favorite is light …

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Fire Festival of Kurama

I went to “Kurama” to see “Kurama-no-Himatsuri” (Fire Festival of Kurama). Ranked as one of the three most unique festivals in Kyoto, “Kurama-no-Himatsuri” is full of energy. around 6 pm on the same day as “Jidai-matsuri Festival“, people in Kurama start to parade toward “Yuki-jinja” Shrine with hundreds of “Taimatsu” (torches). The festival comes to its climax when all torches gather in front of the “Yuki-jinja” Shrine. “Taimatsu” (torches) came so close to spectators that I felt heat of the fire! It is also amazing that this festival has been held for over 1000 years in the district. If you are interested in this thrilling and historical show, be ready …

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Jidai Matsuri Festival

  I went to see “Jidai Matsuri Festival“, one of the Kyoto three Greatest Festivals. I couldn’t see all of the parade, but it would be about 2km and participated by 2,000 people. The parade from in “Meiji” Restoration dates back to “Enryaku“, 8th when the palace was built here Kyoto reminded me again the long history not only Kyoto but Japan. While I live in Kyoto, I shall see all the parade! (Staff K)

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Toro-nagashi in Arashiyama

  My friend sent me the pictures of “Toro-nagashi” in Arashiyama. “Toro-nagashi” is one of the famous Bon events to send the spirits of the dead to their country by flowing the small boats with lantern into the river. She wrote that she was very impressed by its mysterious beauty. I have never been to see “Toro-nagashi” in Arashiyama, even though I have wanted to see it for long. Because I have seen more familiar with “Daimonji Bonfire“, which can be seen in my neighborhood. Next year, I want to go to Arashiyama to see “Toro-nagashi” in the background of “Torii Bonfire“.

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Daimonji Bonfire

  Tonight, I’ve been to see “Dainonji Bonfire“, with guests from Germany. I’ve lived here Kyoto for 2 years, but it was for the first time for me and of course the German guests either. We were really looking forward to seeing this as we saw many posters about “Daimonji” in the city. We saw from the riverside of Kamo River, one of the famous spot to see “Daimonji“. The bus to the spot was really jammed, which also excited us. On 8pm, just 8 o’clock, we found a fire spot on the mountain, and soon that, with applauses, fire spots emerged a lot constituting the figure “大“. Then gradually …

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Mitarashi Matsuri Festival of Shimogamo-jinja Shrine

  I went to “Mitarashi Matsuri Festival” in “Shimogamo-Jinja Shrine” on 21th July. It started in Heian Era (794 – 1192) when people of nobility had been paying the unclean and sin as Misogi exorcism. Currently it is famous as summer tradition in “Shimogamo-Jinja Shrine“. At “Ashituke-shinji“, that is the main event of “Mitarashi Matsuri Festival” for pray to God, people have a candle in hand and walk barefoot into the pond while soaking in water up to knee. They walk to the altar at the end of the pond and pray for good health dedicating a candle. It is said that efficacious miracle of longevity appears when they drink …

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Parade of Gion Matsuri Fastival

  “Yamaboko-Junko” (Parade of about 20 decorated floats), the highlight of the “Gion Matsuri Festival“, was carried out in terrible storm attacked by typhoon this year. Floats were covered with vinyl and both people who was moving floats and seeing parade were drenched in rain. Unfortunately!!! I hope it will be good weather next year.

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Yoi-Yoi-yama of Gion Matsuri Festival

  I went to the “Yoi-Yoi-yama” of “Gion Matsuri Festival” tonight with my friend from childhood. “Yoi-yama” is Eve of Parade and “Yoi-Yoi-yama” is one night before “Yoi-yama“. We really went there for the first time in a long time. We had enjoyed to listen “Gion-bayashi” (play by traditional instruments), or climb on the floats, in young days. Since we became adults, we could enjoy variety of “Gion Matsuri Festival“, such as looking various art of floats which were called museum to walk, receiving service of tea ceremony, passing through the inside of the wheel made of straw for the amulet at “Yamabushi-yama” etc. I am very glad to be …

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Tea ceremony at Shusui-tei

I participated in the tea ceremony where held at “Shusui-tei” in the Kyoto Imperial Palace Garden. “Shusui-tei” is a traditional tea built in the late Edo Era, approximately 200 years ago. This tea room originally was located in the house of “Duke Kujo“, Japanese nobility. The garden of “Shusui-tei” at this time is very beautiful with green leaves reflected on the pond. This tea ceremony was produced by HUG International Exchange Association, so many foreigners participated in the ceremony. The woman and two men in Kimono in the picture are students from China and Korea studying in Doshisha University. If you book in advance, you can participate in Kimono.

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Aoi Matsuri Festival

  I saw “Aoi Matsuri Festival“, one of Kyoto’s three major festivals, in the “Tadasu-no-mori” (forest which are in the precincts of “Shimogamo-jinja Shrine” and left ancient ecosystem in it). This festival even appears in “The Tale of Genji“, the famous classical novel written in Heian era around 1,000 years ago. I think that ancient parade went through “Tadasu-no-mori” as today’s pictures show. Current heroin is “Saio-dai” (behalf of “Saio“) rode palanquin. She must dress in the formal style of the imperial court, in other words, 12 layers of kimono, weighing 30 kg in total. Ancient heroin was “Saio” and hero was imperial envoy of the emperor. Both rode were …

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