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Gion matsuri 2019: Atomatsuri Yoiyama 祇園祭後祭宵山英語版

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What is Yoiyama? 宵山とは

2018宵山

Yoiyama means a kind of small festivals held a few days before in Hokomachi.

Hokomachi is a district where we can find Yamaboko floats. As seen in the photo above, there are many paper lanterns hanging on Yamaboko floats.

Yoiyama is preparation for Mikoshi and Yamaboko parade. It sitll reminds secret when it started but Gion Groyo-e Saiki, a book on Gion Goryo-e (the former name of Gion matsuri.), tells us it began in the 18th century.

Today, the word Yoiyama has two meanings; The three consecutive days before Yamaboko parade, and the eve of the parade.

 いちきしま ひめ
 いちきしま ひめ

In Atomatsuri, Yamaboko parade is on 24th. We call 23th Yoiyama, 22th Yoiyoiyama, and 21st Yoiyoiyoiyama precisely.

In this article, we call the nights of 21~23th Yoiyama.

祇園祭駒形提灯八幡山

In Yoiyama, we can see paper lanterns hanging on Yamaboko floats, enjoy Ohayashi music, and have Chimaki amulet and Goshuin stamps at Kaisyo, a kind of head office of Yamaboko floats. At many Kaisho, we can enjoy ornaments of Yamaboko. It is called “Kaisyo Kazari.” Most of them are put on Yamaboko floats on the very day of Yamaboko parade.

たけちよ
たけちよ

For more info. on Gion matsuri

Gion matsuri festival in Kyoto 2019: The absolute guide. 祇園祭英語
The way to enjoy Gion matsuri festival. Its history, the rituals going with it, the Yamahoko parade. Itinerary , many photos and videos available.
Why is Gion matsuri celebrated? 祇園祭の意味英語版
Gion matsuri has changed in many ways but its aim reminds the same for 1150 years. In this article, you can learn the exact reason why Gion matsuri is celebrated.
Gion matsuri 2019: Mikoshi, portable shrine, guide 祇園祭神輿英語
Gion matsuri is famous for Yamaboko floats but the most important thing is Mikoshi, or porptable shrine. In this article, I'll show you the history, importance of it.
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When would we go the Yoiyama?

In daytime or night

If you wanted Chimaki, Goshuin stamp, and other things at Kaisyo, it would be better go there in daytime though Yoi of Yoiyama means “night.” At night, many people visited Kaisyo and it might take time to have these things.

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

We have hot days in daytime usually. Prepare for them!

In addition to it, we have some rituals on 23th July. Around 2:00 p.m., in front of Kaisyo of Enno Gyojya yama, Gomadaki Kuyo ritual is held. In this ritual, we have our wish on a small piece of wood. And Gyoja, a kind of Buddhist monk, belong to Shogoin temple set fire these pieces of wood to pray for us.

In the video, we can see small pieces of paper hanging on a rope. When the ritual is finished, we can have them as an amulet which saves us from bad luck.

げきすせん
げきすせん

In daytime, buy the things you want and enjoy Yamaboko floats, paper lanterns and Kaisyo Kazari.

At twilight

宵宮祭/Yaaska shrine at dusk

We have two matsrui in Gion matsuri; Saki matsruri and Ato matsuri. In Ato matsuri, the twilight reminds of us autumn though we are in the midst of summer.

Car-free zone?

In Ato matsuri, we have car-free zones only around Yamaboko floats. And we don’t have one-way roads.

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

Go anywhere you want!

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Access to Yoiyama

In Kyoto, we usually take bus to go to our destination but it would be better to take trains in Yoiyama period.

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

The bus routes are changed to avoid Hokomachi.

Following are the stations near Hokomachi (the enclosed area in blue line);

Kyoto City Subway Shijo station(the blue train on the map), Hankyu Karasuma station (the red train), and Keihan Shijo Kawaramachi station (the green train).

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