Kyoto is, undeniably, a popular tourist destination in Japan. It used to be the capital and the Emperor’s residence a long time ago. It is located in a valley, which is part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the Tamba highlands. There are numerous temples and shrines which have been preserved until today. If you’ve chosen Kyoto as your travel destination, let me guide you on some of the things you can do in the place.
For the entire month of July each year, a famous festival known as “Gion Matsuri” is held in Kyoto. It is said to be one of the oldest and largest festivals. The history of this festival dates back to the ancient years. There was a time when many people died, due to a sickness brought about by plagues and pestilence which they thought to have come from the deity, Gozu Tenno.
And so, the people prayed to the God of Yasaka Shrine hoping they could appease the gods who brought the disasters. It was part of their purification ritual.
Whenever an outbreak occurred, this practice was repeated.
In the Higashiyama and Arashiyama Districts of Kyoto, a set of illumination events takes place. This is known as “Hanatoro.” Hanatoro means “flower, lantern and road.” If you happen to be in the streets of Kyoto, at night, you’ll be witnessing thousands of lanterns put up, illuminating beautiful flowers behind them. This magnificent view which will leave you breathless!
Arashiyama Hantoro takes place in the western and central parts while Higashiyama Hanatoro takes place in the eastern part of Kyoto. The next events are scheduled on December 11-20, 2015 and March 12-21, 2016, respectively.
Jidai Matsuri or “Festival of Ages” takes place on October 22 of each year. It is a fun event in which participants dress in the most accurate costumes of each era from Japanese history where they will be reenacting their own characters. It can also be called as a costume procession.
Jidai Matsuri starts early in the morning with the 5-hour procession in the afternoon and is participated by over 2,000 people!