Gion Matsuri is the largest festival in Kyoto. It spans most of July and ends on the 17th with a huge parade, floats, and festivities. These photos are of the procession of the Mikoshi (portable shrines) that carry the deities that live in the Yasuka Shrine (the orange one in the photos below.) I am not entirely sure if that is correct but here is a link to the whole event.
All of the Mikoshi bearers are dressed in these white outfits and they stop every once in awhile and shake the shrine. There are several of these Mikoshi and people eventually follow them to the Kamagawa (Kama River). As with anytourist experience in Japan, the crowds were intense.
I particulary like the juxtaposition of the golden shrine with the golden glowing signage for the Lawson convenience store (basically a 7-11).
This little guy looks like he is not so sure he should be leading this whole thing.
This building is some bizarre Ronchamp inspired restaurant/ nightcluby thing that looms over the Yasuka Shrine.
Many of the woman are dressed in traditional Yukata's (light weight Kimono's) for the festival proceedings.
the crowd following the shrine
the Kamagawa at night
Most weekend nights the banks of the Kamagawa are filled with college students, couples, and street performers. The evaporative cooling from the river slightly aleviating the oppressive heat and humidity that is the Kansai summer.
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