Friday, July 23, 2010

Gion Yama At Yoiyama

These are examples of the 23 of the smaller Yama, of the yamaboko floats used in the Gion matsuri, which carry life-size figures of famous people and other important or sacred objects. Yoiyama is the last, and most exciting, of the three nights leading to the parade on the 17th of July. A friend suggested that if I wanted to escape the heat, sun, and extreme crowds of the parade, but was still interested in experiencing the spirit, eats, and sites of Gion matsuri, then this night would be a great compromise. I did not attend the parade on the 17th so I cannot speak to what I might have missed, but the Yoiyama festival was a great match for my temperament and was cooler (but a little wet) and the crowds were handleable. For the truly dedicated both Yoiyama and the parade are an option, however, to get a good view of the parade means being in position early in the morning, after a long night of celebration - which is just not my style.

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