Festivals in Kyoto
The Festival of Ages and the Fire Festival
October 22nd is a big day for Kyoto - two festivals happen on the same
day. The first festival is Jidai Matsuri - the Festival of Ages.
The Festival of Ages (Jidai Matsuri)
The festival of Ages was introduced in 1895 to mark the cities 1100th
anniversary. Kyoto was the capital of Japan from 794 AD to 1868 AD
and this parade plays back those thousand years with precession of
people in costumes. The parade goes in reverse order - the people
you see first represent the Meiji Restoration (most recent) and then
goes backward in time. There is a web site for the
Fire Festival (Kurama-no-Himatsuri)
festival isn't actually held in Kyoto - it's in a small town named
Kurama. To get there you take a Eizan line train from a Kyoto
station - the trip takes about half an hour. By the time we got to
the station (around 6pm) the train were already packed and lines
stretched out of the station.
The festival was started 940 AD when a
local shrine (Yuki-jinja) was moved from Kyoto up to Kurama. The
locals (they generally are wearing costumes or sashes) build and stock
large fires at the side of the road. This town is pretty much a
one road town, running next to a river with houses on each side of the
valley. When we arrived the road was separated with a rope and the
spaces at the rope were filling up fast.
Shortly after we arrived, we
started to see torches walk by. These torches were carried by the
younger members of town. The torches are made of woods and are
carried by 3 to many people.
The main event is carrying 5
huge torches from the city square to a fence. These torches are
heavy (50 kilos) and carried by three people. As people try to put
them up (they aren't very stable) other people throw water onto the
torches and people to keep things sane. As we tried to walk to the
train station, one last surge of the crowd pinned us against a
shrine. Thankfully we got an amazing view of the action (we could
feel the heat of the torches).
Both of these festivals were great views into Japanese culture - I'm so
glad we went.
Tags: Japan(17), parade(10), costume(9), fire(7), sparks(2), train(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Second Trip to Japan > Festivals in Kyoto
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > Festivals in Kyoto
From: John Harvey Photo > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > Festivals in Kyoto
Sunday, October 7th, 2007 at 21:49:49
Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 02:41:48
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:44:13 Edit
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