Hello from Kyoto! There was an absolutely amazing atmosphere downtown tonight as gigantic floats popped up across the city and a large number of the roads were closed to vehicles, allowing thousands of pedestrians to roam free.
Gion Matsuri is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July, and it’s highlight is the Yamaboko Junkō parade on July 17. On the three nights leading up to the parade, Kyoto’s downtown area is closed to vehicles and reserved for pedestrian traffic. These nights are known as Yoiyama (July 16), Yoiyoiyama (July 15) and Yoiyoiyoiyama (July 14) – see a pattern there? 🙂 As well as walking around and seeing the floats, plenty of food and beer vendors pop up to ply you with their wares!
It’s really quite surreal walking the streets of Kyoto without a car in sight, and I can only imagine what the next 2 days will be like!