Aoi Matsuri

Hello!  Long time no see! So, some updates: I moved to Kyoto and now I live in the Nijo Castle area 😀 It’s such a great location, I can go almost everywhere by foot. I was also busy looking for a part-time job *baito* too…

Well, the 15th of May was the Aoi Matsuri or Alcea Festival in Kyoto. It’s a parade where you can see people dressed with ancient japanese costumes. They walk from the Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Shrine for approximately 4-5 hours. That day it was really hot in Kyoto, so I guess it was very tiring 😥  This festival started during Emperor Kinmei’s reign (539-571) but it stoped for some periods due to various reasons (war, prohibition from Emperor Mommu, etc.). Here I quote a more decent explanation of the parade:

“[…]This festival reproduces the procession of officials delivering the Emperor’s message and offerings to the two shrines of Shimogamo and Kamigamo. In this light, the most important position held in the parade is the messenger on horseback wearing a gold sword at his side, who is followed by a train of attendants. The highlight of the procession is the parade of women accompanying the proxy of the imperial princess serving the deities.[…]” – Japan National Turism Organization.

I went to watch the parade to the palace’s entrance, where it starts, but there were too many people and I couln’t take nice pitures, so I went to Shimogamo Shrine thinking there would be less people there, but I was wrong. The thing is that I couldn’t see the entire parade, so there are no pictures of the parade of women ^^’  *sorry*


All this people were going to see the festival







While I was was writing this post I was thinking “this pictures would look so much better if there weren’t so many people and modern shops in the back…”, and I was kind of bored so I made this:

IMG_2293 - copia

I apologize for my bad editing skills haha

Ok let’s continue:



I took this picture while crossing the bridge (it was forbidden) and the police started yelling at me *omg*




This was the situation at Shimogamo Shrine when I arrived…

And that’s all, if you go to the festival next year, I suggest going there early to take a nice spot so you can enjoy it. On my way back I saw a person in a frog costume advertising a curry restaurant…*only in Japan*





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