- Posted July 30, 2014 by
Gion Matsuri in Kyoto 2014: Ato-Matsuri (後祭)!
On the 24th of July, the last Gion Matsuri was held in the city of Kyoto. Its the first time in more than 150 years that the Gion Matsuri has been held in its original format.
This is a video account of this annual event. In the Ato-Matsuri ten floats participate, which makes for a shorter parade. The organiser did add another event, the Hanagasa Junkō Parade.
I arrived more than two hours in advance, but unfortunately most of the good spots where already taken. I found a spot just a little of the corner of Shijo and Karasuma Dori.
This is the order of the participating floats: Hashibenkei Yama (橋弁慶山), Kitakannon Yama (北観音山), Hachiman Yama (八幡山), Jōmyō Yama (浄妙山), Suzuka Yama (鈴鹿山), Minamikannon Yama (南観音山), Koi Yama (鯉山), Ennogyoja Yama (役行者山), Kuronushi Yama (黒主山) and Ofune Hoko (大船鉾).
The Ofune Hoko (大船鉾) was of course the main attraction, as it had not participated in the Gion Matsuri for more than 150 years. All the floats were beautifully decorated with tapestry from Japan and abroad. Some of the floats depicted scenes from Japans folkloristic past and had colourfully clad legendary personages aboard.
If you happen to be on one of the corners of Shijo-Oike and Karasuma Dori, you can watch the turning of the floats (Tsujimawashi). I was able to video the turning of Minamikannon Yama with all it's entertaining shouts, Bayashi music and loud applause of the spectators.
Some of the smaller floats also did Tsujimawashi, and Ennogyoja Yama did several turns much to the surprise of the onlookers. They received a big applause from the people standing around. I believe they did about 5 turns.
If you where not able to attend enjoy the small video clip, and perhaps, there is always next year!