The gion competition (祇園祭 gion matsuri) takes place annually in kyoto and is one of the most well-known fairs in japan. It lasts for the entire month of july and culminates in a parade, the yamaboko junkō (山鉾巡行) on july 17 and july 24. It takes its name from the gion district of the city.

Kyoto’s downtown region is reserved for pedestrian site visitors at the three nights main up to the huge parade. These nights are referred to as yoiyama (宵山) on july sixteen and july 23, yoiyoiyama (宵々山) on july 15 and july 22, and yoiyoiyoiyama (宵々々山) on july 14 and july 21. The streets are covered with night stalls selling meals including yakitori (barbecued fowl on skewers), taiyaki, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, traditional eastern sweets, and many different culinary delights. Ladies dressed in yukata (summer kimono) stroll around the area, wearing with them conventional purses and paper lovers.

Gion Matsuri 3
Gion Matsuri

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.

The processions of floats (yamaboko junko) take area between 09:00 and 11:30 at the seventeenth and 24th and observe a 3 kilometer lengthy path along shijo, kawaramachi and very well streets (beginning from shijo-karasuma at the seventeenth and from karasuma-alright on the 24th). A few paid seating is supplied in front of the metropolis hall (3180 yen; improve reserving required; on line buy in english is possible thru voyagin for 4000 yen), but due to the fact the procession takes area over quite an extended path and length, properly viewpoints also can be found elsewhere without too much problem. 

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.

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