On July 17th the official declared the end of rain season in Japan. At the same time, one of the most famous summer festivals, Gion Matsuri was held in Kyoto. Actually it is a month-long festival throughout July, but the most people gather here for its highlight events, “Hoko decoration car parade” and “Yoiyama night markets.”

I could attend both of them. Yoiyama events were held at night before the main parade, showing each car on their territory spots with lantern lights. Many people dressed up in our traditional robes, Yukata – summer kimonos, and so did I.

The daytime main event was being hot when I arrived the city center of Kyoto. All transportation was shut out for it. 33 decorated Hoko cars were dragged by men, and I could watch the most difficult part, that they rotated the car on the corner – only by manpower as it had no steer wheel on such an ancient vehicle.


A scene from Yoiyama night market

Lantern decorated car (Hoko)

Daytime parade

All cars are pulled by men - under hottest sushine!

Hoko rotation point

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