A Living Symbol of Kyoto

The sun is bright. The air is humid. Sweat is running.Here comes summer. Time for matsuri (festival).
There are tons of matsuris in Japan, and most of them are taken place in summer. This might be not neccesary to tell, but, in case you do not know about it. One of the biggest and worthful festival, Gion Matsuri, is held in July (Yes. It's already started on 1st July).
The origin of this lively matsuri can be traced back to the early Heian period (A.D. 869), it was a matsuri to stop a series of devastating plagues. As time goes by, Gion Matsuri took in many different styles such as musicians, dances, comic plays, and artistic treasures and hokos (floats) got heavier with them. The heaviest float is amazingly 12 tons !! The floats are made of wood and they built up without any nails, tied toghether with only ropes. Watching local people set up a float in a sweat should be very interesting. You might see 3 generations, a grandfather, a father and a son, take part in the biggest festival in Kyoto.


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