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Summer in Kyoto, what not to miss・part 1

Worldwide, summer has always been associated with festivals. Japan and Kyoto in particular are no exception. But if there is so much to do, how can you make a quick pick since you’re only staying for a few days you ask? No worries, we’re here to help. Here is our little selection of what to do in July and August in Kyoto!


世界中どこでも、夏と言えばお祭りですよね!もちろん日本や京都にも楽しいお祭りが目白押しです。

数日しか滞在できないけど目一杯楽しみたい、という方も多いと思いますので、今回は7~8月の京都でも飛び切りのおススメを紹介します!




GION FESTIVAL


Ok, this one was easy, but after all you can’t go to Paris and without seeing the Eiffel Tower right? Well July in Kyoto is all about Gion Festival! Why? First of all, because it is the biggest festival in Kyoto. It runs through the whole month of July, even if the main events are concentrated between July 17th and 24th. Then because it is spectacular: all participants dress in colorful costumes, and gorgeous floats (hoko) are carried around the city following the rhythm of traditional music. The festival was held for the first time in 869, and people all over Japan come to see it at least once in their life. There is a lot going on around that time,so be sure to check the details in the link below!

https://www.discoverkyoto.com/event-calendar/july/gion-festival-yasaka-shrine-downtown/


祇園祭


まず最初は、夏の京都の代名詞、祇園祭です!もちろん知っているよという方も多いと思いますが、やはり外せないですよね。宵山や鉾巡行などのメインイベントは7月17~24日に行われますが、実は7月の間は様々な所で、祇園祭に関係した儀式や行事が開催されています。

そしてメインイベントの鉾巡行では、色とりどりの衣装を着た人々に引かれた豪華で巨大な鉾と山が、軽快な音楽に合わせて街中を巡る姿はまさに壮観です!

869年から1000年以上続く祇園祭は、まさに日本のお祭りの象徴。ぜひお越しください!



When? July 1st~31st 2020

Where? All around Kyoto

期間:7月1~31日

場所:京都市内の様々な場所




MITARASHI-SAI


Talking about refreshing in summer, this ceremony held at the Shimogamo shrine is a good occasion to combine spirituality and water. During the hottest summer days in Kyoto, a procession is held through the cold water of the small river of the shrine. Everybody is given a lit candle (it costs ¥200), which you will place together with all the others at the end of the route. After placing the candle and saying their prayers, participants receive a cup of spring water to drink. Not only it is an interesting spiritual experience, it is also very beautiful, as it is held as night.


When? July 17th~26th 2020 - TBC

Where? Shimogamo shrine


御手洗祭


京都の夏の蒸し暑さを振り払いたい方は、下鴨神社で開催される神秘的な水のお祭りに参加してみてはどうでしょう?

京都のうだる様な暑さの中、神社の境内にある小さな冷たい川に人々が集まってきます。小さなロウソクを購入して、皆と一緒に祈った後には、一杯の湧き水を頂きます。

夜に開催されるので、とても神秘的で美しいお祭りですよ!


時期:7月17~26日

場所:下鴨神社



TANABATA BAMBOO DECORATION LIGHT-UP


Running from July 1st to August 15th, the light-up begins at dusk and continues until 8pm each night (shrine offices close at 7.50pm). Visiting shrines at night offers a totally different atmosphere than visiting them during the day. Kifune Shrine looks almost otherworldly when illuminated alongside traditional Tanabata décor, which consists of colorful strips of paper (tanzaku) with written wishes hanging on large bamboo branches.

The Tanabata legend tells the story of lovers Hikoboshi the cow herd (the star Altair) and Orihime the weaver (the star Vega). The two were so in love that after they got married and had children, Orihime ended up neglecting her duties in heaven, which landed them in trouble with Orihime’s father, the lord of Heaven. In order to punish them, he decided to separate the two lovers on opposite sides of the Milky Way. After seeing Orihime and Hikoboshi constantly crying from despair, the gods allowed them to meet once a year via the Mily Way, on the day now celebrated as Tanabata.


七夕笹飾りライトアップ


7月1日から8月15日までの期間は、夜8時までライトアップが行われます。夜に訪れると、日中とは全く異なった風景が目に飛び込んできます。ライトアップされた大きな七夕飾りの中を歩いていると、まるで別世界に来たように感じるでしょう。

七夕は、東アジアに古くから伝わるお話です。牛飼いの彦星と機織りの織姫がお互いを愛しすぎるあまり仕事をしなくなってしまったため、罰として天の川の対岸に分けられてしまいました。そして二人が一年に一度だけ、天の川を渡って会える日が今の七夕になったと言われています。


When? July 1st – August 15th: sunset to 8pm (9pm on weekends and holidays)

Where? Kifune Shrine

Admission? Free

Official website: http://kifunejinja.jp/


場所:貴船神社

日時:7月1日~8月15日の日没~夜8時まで(週末と休日は夜9時まで)。

料金:無料

Official website: http://kifunejinja.jp/




GOZAN OKURIBI RITUAL FIRES


It is believed that on August 16th the dead who have come back to visit their living relatives for the Obon period will depart once again for the spiritual world. Kyoto’s ritual bonfires are one of the customs to give them a good send-off! The okuribi (bonfires) consist of the kanji character for “big” on two mountains, kanji that form “wondrous dharma” on two others, and two bonfires made into shapes (visible as a torii gate and a fune boat). In order to be seen from the city, the size of the bonfires is enormous. Be prepared, you won’t be able to see all of them, so make your choice beforehand!

五山の送り火


日本の風習では、お盆の時期に"この世"に帰ってきた死者の魂が、8月16日に再び"あの世"へと帰っていくと考えられています。五山の送り火は、そんな死者の魂へのお見送りの気持ちが現れたものです。

送り火では、5つの山に「大」「妙法」の漢字と、鳥居と舟形を象った焚火が浮かび上がります。街中からでも見ることができますが、全てを同時に見ることはできないので、どれを見てみたいか事前に決めておいて下さいね!

When? August 15-16th

時期:8月15-16日


■ Daimonji (Nyoigatake, Daimonji Mountain) | 大文字

Time of Lighting: 20:00

Gomagi: August 15th~16th, Ginkaku-ji

Viewing Spots:

- Kamogawa River (from Marutamachi to Misonobashi Bridge)

- Dōshisha University’s Kanbaikan Building

「大」の漢字(大文字)

点火時間:20:00

見える場所:鴨川河川敷、同志社大学寒梅館

■ Myo-Hō (Mount Mandōrō and Mount Daikokuten) | 妙法

Time of Lighting: 20:05

Gomagi: n/a

Viewing Spots:

- Kitayama Street near Matsugasaki Station

- North of Takanobashi Bridge

- Takaragaike Driving School

「妙法」の漢字

点火時間:20:05

見える場所:松ヶ崎駅、高野橋、宝ヶ池ドライビングスクール

■ Funagata (Mount Funa Nishigamo) | 船形

Time of Lighting: 20:10

Gomagi: August 4th~16th, Saihō-ji

Viewing Spots:

- Misonobashi Bridge

舟形(船の形)

点火時間:20:10

見える場所:御園橋

■ Hidari Daimonji (Mount Okita) | 左大文字

Time of Lighting: 20:15

Gomagi: August 15th~16th, Kinkaku-ji

Viewing spots:

- Nishiōji Street

「大」の漢字(左大文字)

点火時間:20:15

見える場所:西大路

■ Toriigata (Mount Mandara) | 鳥居形

Time of Lighting: 20:20

Gomagi: August 13th~16th, Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

Viewing Spots:

- Matsuobashi Bridge

- Hirosawa no Ike Pond

鳥居型(鳥居の形)

点火時間:20:20

見える場所:松尾橋、広沢池


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