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Gion Matsuri : Yoiyama evening before the Latter Festival parade (Part 2)

July 28, 2014

After visiting Koi-yama heirloom exhibition, we moved to the Minami-Kannon-yama district. One of the yama’s tapestries featuring a dragon :

The colors of Minami-Kannon-yama decorations were bright and gorgeous under the light of festival lanterns :
Finally, we went to have a look at this year’s celebrity, Ofune-boko float which has returned to the festival after the 150 years hiatus. It wasn’t easy to approach it though, we had to wait in line under the sharp eyes of the policemen :
Among the hoko’s lanterns I noticed those of Yaosada 矢尾定, a Japanese cuisine restaurant situated in a 80-year-old machiya just nearby. Actually, the restaurant’s owners are members the Ofune-boko Preservation Association.
Ofune-boko was worth waiting, it had a kind of imposing and dignified air that gives you goose bumps from the emotion.
Halting just for 3 seconds to take a few pictures, I felt somebody’s hand on my shoulder.. I was reminded not to stop and move on by the policeman.
Attending at least one of the Yoiyama evenings is a must for the Kyotoites, and of course for the city visitors. One thing is to watch the Yamaboko floats from afar during the float procession, another is to immerse yourself into the festival atmosphere to feel its mood. Without doubt, these precious moments will stay with you forever, inciting this longing to return to Japan that Japan lovers know too much. It was the same for me too 5 years ago, when I first came to Kyoto during the Gion Festival. The emotions that visited my heart then became too strong to ignore, and now here I am, living in the city I love, discovering it every day and introducing it to my dear readers.

←Part 1