The schedule of the parade
The Gion Matsuri of Kyoto is held every year throughout the month of July. The highlight of the Gion Matsuri is from 14th to 17th July. This schedule is fixed every year, no matter what day of the week.
On the 14th to 16th July, festival floats show up in the downtown Kyoto, and in the evening, many people walk along the streets and enjoy food stalls and seeing festival floats.
On the 17th July, the festival floats go around the downtown Kyoto from 9am to about 2pm. Since the last few years, another parade of the festival floats is held on 24th July.
Belgian tapestry of the “Kankoboko”
This is a picture of the “Kanko-boko” float, which has a tapestry depicting a scene from the Old Testament. This tapestry was originally came from Belgium about 300 years ago.
The parade of the “Fune-hoko”
This is the “Fune-hoko” float, which has a shape of the ship. The citizens of Kyoto didn’t have opportunities to see the real big ships in old time, because Kyoto is far from the sea. I think, this spectacle of the Gion Matsuri tells us that the people of Kyoto in old time were open to the things new to them.
Turning floats on the corners are the highlights of the parade. When the floats come to the corners, thin split bamboo and some water are put around the wheels to help turn them. This requires a lot of power and the technique, so people applause when the floats successfuly turned the corners.