Our (little) BLOG

The Hanami season has started.  With the cold of winter fading away, the weather is becoming more pleasant every day. The flowers are blossoming around the city, and that gave us the idea of starting this little blog. We’ll try to post photos and news on a regular basis to show you how Kyoto is looking, changing according to the seasons.

Akiko & Patrick

Daimonji Manto Kuyoe, Nara

Daimonji Manto Kuyoe, Nara

On August 15th, thousands of lanterns dedicated to the Great Buddha statue (Daibutsu) and to the ancestor’s spirits that are believed to visit this world during the “Obon” festival are lit around the Todaiji temple.

read more
Tanabata at Shiramine Jingu

Tanabata at Shiramine Jingu

The Tanabata legend tells of two lovers, Hikoboshi (Altair star) and Orihime (Vega star), who are separated by the "river of the heavens" (Milky Way). They are allowed to meet once a year, on the night of July 7. This year, we went to the...

read more
Kyoto, No.1 World’s Best list

Kyoto, No.1 World’s Best list

I'm glad to learn that Kyoto has, for the second time, be voted the No. 1 spot on the World’s Best list of Travel Leisure, a popular travel magazine in the US. The article can be seen at: http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/worlds-best-cities/10  

read more
Rokudo Mairi, Chinno-ji Temple

Rokudo Mairi, Chinno-ji Temple

A " Mairi " is a visit to a temple or shrine for the purpose of prayer.  " Rokudo " refers to the six states through which living beings transmigrate. From the lowest to highest, they are: (1) beings in hell, (2) hungry ghosts, (3) beasts,...

read more
Hassaku in Gion, Aug 2015

Hassaku in Gion, Aug 2015

It was really hot, and quite crowded (by photographers and tourists), but we decided to go to have a look and take a few photos.  Gion’s Hassaku is indeed a rare chance to see many of the Geiko (a local term in Kyoto for Geisha) and Maiko...

read more
Hassaku in Gion, Aug 2014

Hassaku in Gion, Aug 2014

August first is a very special day in Kyoto’s Gion district. The term designates the first day of the eighth month in the ancient Japanese calendar, Gion’s Hassaku is an opportunity to see many of the “Geiko” and “Maiko” from Japan’s most renowned “Hanamachi” or geisha district.

read more
Hanagasa Flower Hat Procession

Hanagasa Flower Hat Procession

Right after the second Yamaboko procession on July 24th is one of my favorite parade in Kyoto, the Hanagasa Junko. With a large number of costumed participants, it’s a real treat for photographers. . .

read more
Yamaboko Grand Parade – Ato Matsuri

Yamaboko Grand Parade – Ato Matsuri

On the 24th, the procession of floats (Yamaboko Junko) also starts at 9:00 and last to about 11:30. This is the second procession (Atomatsuri) featuring only 10 large floats. It follows a different route. . .

read more
Yamaboko Junko, Gion Matsuri

Yamaboko Junko, Gion Matsuri

This year’s “Yamaboko Junko” parade of huge wooden festival floats (Yama and Hoko) took place under heavy rain (we were spare a typhoon but got a tropical storm). There were talks of cancelation, but I’ve heard that . . .

read more
Shirabyoshi Dancer, Gion Matsuri

Shirabyoshi Dancer, Gion Matsuri

The Gion Matsuri is Kyoto’s largest festival. it is a unique opportunity to see a number of Japanese traditions, religious processions, dances, music, historical costumes, etc. Here, Shirabyōshi (白拍子) female dancers . . .

read more
Hoko and Yama Construction

Hoko and Yama Construction

The festival's 23 floats are assembled in the communities they belong to. This is a great opportunity for getting a close up look at the floats and the way they are made.  The way these are put together is pretty amazing - no nails are used. [gallery type="slideshow"...

read more
Mikoshi Arai – Purification

Mikoshi Arai – Purification

During the festival, the deities of Yasaka Shrine reside in a temporary shrine called the Otabisho (on the south side of Shijo, just east of Teramachi). Before moving the deities on the mikoshi portable shrines, the mikoshi are purified with water from the Kamo River....

read more
Omukae Chochin – Welcoming Lanterns

Omukae Chochin – Welcoming Lanterns

This year's Gion Matsuri is starting. Little and large events are taking place around the city.  We can already feel the presence of a larger than usual number of people, mainly around Shijo / Kawaramachi streets.   The construction of the Hoko and Yama has began...

read more
Nagoshi no Harae Summer Purification

Nagoshi no Harae Summer Purification

Every year, at the end of June, many shrines hold an ancient Japanese purification rite called “Nagoshi no Harae”. In this ceremony people atone for their sins . . .

read more
Equestrian Festival at the Fujinomori Shrine

Equestrian Festival at the Fujinomori Shrine

The Fujinomori’s festival is famous for the Kakeuma Shinji Shinto ritual that shows skills of handstand and “Fujikudari” (pretending to have been hit by an enemy’s arrow) while riding . . .

read more
%d bloggers like this: