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【Annual events】Fun things to do in Kyoto in every season!【Japan】

 A goat Kyotoite shows you fun things to do and see in every season and manth in Kyoto. You can see information on rituals and festivals common Kyotoites enjoy.

 

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January 睦月

1st Okera sai (白朮祭)

八坂神社の白朮祭

 At 5 a.m., in front of the main hall of Yasaka shrine,  a Shinto priest put small fire on the sheets of wood. To get rid of anything evil, he let them be at the mercy of the breeze. This is “Okera-sai”, the first ritual of the year in commences in Yasaka shrine.

1st Hatsumode (初詣)

2017 雪の京都 平安神宮

 On 1st of January, Japanese people rush to shrine or temple to pray for good fortune.

7th Hakuba souran Shinji (白馬奏覧神事)

白馬奏覧神事

 Shrine used to keep horses in the days of old but they can not manage them these days. In Kyoto, only Kamigamo shrine keeps a horse called “Shinme”, a horse for Shinto Kami (A kind of deity).

白馬奏覧神事

 On the day Shinto priest put a bowl of “Nanakusa-gayu (The picture below.)” in front of Kami.  The Shinme horse pay a visit the shrine and he eats soy beans. It is believed that if we could see a white horse at the begging of a year, we would keep away anything evil. It is a ritual used to carry on in the imperial court.

七草粥

 On the day, we have a bowl of “Nanakusa gayu” as same as Kami. It is believed that the bowl brings us good heath.

10th Ebessan えべっさん/10日戎

えべっさん

Ebessan (Ebisu-san in colloquial way) is a deity of prosperity.

縁起物縁起物

On the day, merchants pay a visit to Ebisu-shrine around the archipelago. They decorate bamboo grasses with ornaments and pray their prosperity.

えびす船巡行2017

At Ebisu-shrine in Yasaka shrine, a ritual and a parade was commenced.

えびす祭

Shinto priestesses bring bamboo grasses to a merchant.

Kyoto in snow

【2017】京都の雪景色 嵐山の竹林【2017】京都の雪景色 金閣寺

【2017】京都の雪景色 光明院【2017】 京都の雪景色 八坂の塔

 On January, we have a couple of snowing days.

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February 如月

3th Setsubun Dainano-gi

大難の儀2017

大難の儀 上卿大難の儀 殿上人

 Setsubun is a ritual used to commenced in the imperial court. We believed the evil spirits occur and bring us misfortune. We put it away with arrows and a stick.

11th Kigensai 紀元祭

In “Kigensai”, we cerebrate the foundation of our country. At Kamigamo shrine, “kemari”, a traditional foot ball game was commenced as a dedication.

Plums

北野天満宮の梅北野天満宮の梅北野天満宮の梅 思いのまま

 In February to March, flowers of plums are in bloom. These flowers tells winters are nearly ending.

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March 弥生

3rd Hinamatsuri ひな祭り

下鴨神社の流し雛

 Hinamatsuri is a custom praying for good fortunes of female children.

 At Shimogamo shrine, we commence “Nagashi-bina”, the ancient way to cerebrate Hinamatsuri.

下鴨神社の流し雛下鴨神社の流し雛

下鴨神社の流し雛下鴨神社の流し雛

 They put wreath like object on a small river in Simogamo shrine.

2nd week Higashiyama Hanatoro 東山花灯路

東山花灯路2017東山花灯路2017・八坂の塔

 In the middle of March, Higashiyama district was illuminated with small lanterns.

狐の嫁入り・2017狐の嫁入り・2017

狐の嫁入り・2017

We have “Fox bride” parade there.

Cherry blossoms 桜

哲学の道の桜

 During the late March to early April, cherry blossoms are in full bloom. We can admire at least four kinds of cherry blossoms.

Kawazu-zakura 河津桜

河津桜2017・一条戻橋

 The fist cherry blossom which tells Kyotoite the begging of spring. We can see it late February to early March.

Somei yoshino 染井吉野

哲学の道の桜

The most popular cherry blossoms in Japan. We can see it late March to early April.

Sidare-zakura

退蔵院の桜2017

Sidare-zakura is also popular cherry blossom in Japan.

Omuro-zakura

2017仁和寺の御室桜

 Omuro-zakura is short in height as shrub. We can see it only in Ninnaji temple. It is in bloom in early-April

Kitano-zakura

2017北野桜

 The petals of Kitano zakura changes from white to pink gradually. We can find it in Kitano tenmangu shrine. It is in bloom in mid-April.

Cherry blossom in illumination

東寺夜桜ライトアップ2017平安神宮しだれ桜コンサート2017

円山公園の枝垂桜2017高台寺ライトアップ2017

 We can admire illuminated cherry blossoms around many places in Kyoto.

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April 卯月

9th Kamo-kyokusuinoen 賀茂曲水の宴

賀茂曲水の宴

“Kyokusuinoen” is a party in which participants compose poem. In Heian period, the court nobles loved it. Today, we can see it Kamigamo shrine.

賀茂曲水の宴

The participants are seated along the small river.

賀茂曲水の宴

On the river, a wooden bird brings a “Sakazuki (Something like a dish on its back)” filled with Sake.

賀茂曲水の宴

The participants compose poems before the bird arrives in front of them.

Flora

嵐山のツツジ嵐山のツツジ

嵐山のつつじ嵐山のつつじ嵐山のつつじ

After cherry blossom, we have a season of “Tsutsuji”.

銀閣寺の牡丹石楠花

 In April, many flowers in bloom.

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May 皐月

3rd Yabusame shinji 流鏑馬神事

 Prior to Aoi matsuri fesrival, the traditional archery is dedicated in Shimogamo shrine.

4th Saioudai Gyokei 斎王代御禊

2017斎王代禊の儀2017斎王代禊の儀

 Saioudai is a priestess who attend Aoi matsuri festival on behalf of the emperor in Kamigamo shirine.

12th Mikage Matsuri 御蔭祭

御蔭祭2016御蔭祭2016

 Before Aoi matsuri festival, Shin to priests bring the new-born soul of Kami to Shimogamo shrine.

御蔭祭2016

 The soul is in the small box the priest hold.

御蔭祭2016

 The white horse carry the box on the back to Shimigamo shrine. This is one of the most underrated ritual in Kyoto.

15th Aoi Matsuri 葵祭

葵祭2017斎王代2016上賀茂神社・本殿祭

葵祭葵祭・斎王代

 One of the most popular festival in Kyoto. Its history dates back to the 9th century. The participants in the garments of Heian period march From Kyoto Imperial Palace to Kamigamo shrine by way of Shimogamo shrine. Precise information is here.

Flora

詩仙堂

 Around Aoi matsuri festival, we can adore “Satsuki”.

新緑の大河内山荘新緑の大河内山荘

 In May, we can see “Aomomiji”. In autumn, the green leaves will turn into red, yellow or vermilion.

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June 水無月

31st Nagoshino-harae 夏越の祓

八坂神社の茅の輪

 On 31st of June, to get rid of “Kegare (An anaemic state of mind) “, we walk through “Chinowa”, the huge wreath in the photo.

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July 文月

Gion matsuri 祇園祭

 

祇園祭 後祭久世駒形稚児/Kuzekomagatachigo

 The most huge and famous festival carried on Kyoto. Precise information is here.

Yamahomo parade

大船鉾鶏鉾

Yamahokos/Yamabokos(The pictures above)marching around the center of Kyoto city. The most popular event in Gion matsuri festival.

Mikoshi togyo 神輿渡御

祇園祭 神輿渡御

 The portable shrines depart Yasaka shrine to the center of Kyoto city.

Yoiyama 宵山

祇園祭2016 後祭祇園祭2016 後祭宵山後祭駒形提灯

In the eve of Yamahoko parade, we can see ornaments decorating Yamahoko and works of art.

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August 葉月

Mid-August Kyo-no Tanabata 京の七夕

京野七夕2016北野天満宮会場京野七夕2016北野天満宮会場京野七夕2016北野天満宮会場

“Tanabata” used to be a ritual for good cultivation. Today, it is the day we make a wish. In the Tanabata period, many places in Kyoto were illuminated.

Mid-August Senniti mairi 千日詣り

清水寺の夜間特別拝観2016

When we visit Kiyomizu-dera temple, the visit could be worth 1,000 times visits.

16th Bonfire 五山送り火

The huge bonfires lit in 5 places in Kyoto. We believe deceased ancestors come back to us in the short period of time called “Obon”. The fires are lit in the end of the Obon days and we wave our good-bye to them who go back to where they belong.

 

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October 神無月

Early-October Moon viewing

下鴨神社の名月管絃祭

 We cerebrate a good harvest and enjoy adore the full moon.

22nd Jidai Matsuri festival 時代祭

時代祭2016 神幸列 鳳輦 時代祭2016 平安時代婦人列 巴御前

時代祭2016 室町洛中風俗列時代祭2016 延暦武官行進列

The festival cerebrating the foundation of Kyoto. In this parade, we can see garments of the long period of Japanese history (8th to 17th century). Every single costume is precisely duplicated in terms of historical point of view.

22nd Himatsuri 鞍馬の火祭

鞍馬の火祭鞍馬の火祭

鞍馬の火祭

 One of the curious festival in Japan. Large torches move around in the mountain villages in the north of Kyoto city.

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November 霜月

Autumn leaves/colors 紅葉

興臨院の紅葉2016興臨院の紅葉2016

永観堂の紅葉2016上賀茂神社の紅葉

東寺の紅葉2016龍安寺石庭の紅葉

金閣寺の紅葉

 From mid November to early December, amazing autumn leaves and foliage lure many people into Kyoto.

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December 師走

31st Okeramairi 朮詣り

をけら灯篭八坂神社の白朮火

 On the last day of the year, we put the fire on the small rope. We go back our home keep burning the fire. The rope is an amulet which keeps away fire accidents from our house.

 

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