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Unidentified Maiko girl (or Geiko lady) on parade of hanagasa in Gion Matsuri (Festival) held on July 24 2014 in Kyoto = shutterstock

Unidentified Maiko girl (or Geiko lady) on parade of hanagasa in Gion Matsuri (Festival) held on July 24 2014 in Kyoto = shutterstock

Photo Feature: Traditional Kyoto in Summer

Since Kyoto is a basin, it is hot in summer. Walking around Kyoto in summer is not highly recommended. However, Kyoto in July and August has a very attractive side. In July, the famous Gion Festival will be held over a month. On August 16, In the five mountains of Kyoto, traditional ceremonies are held to send the souls of ancestors to the sky, with big bonfires. Visiting Kyoto may be the best way to experience traditional summer in Japan. For Kyoto, I have already compiled the following article. However, I would like to introduce the summer of Kyoto more, so I made a photo feature here.

Autumn leaves of Rurikoin, Kyoto, Japan = Adobe Stock
Kyoto! 26 Best Attractions : Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizudera, Kinkakuji etc.

Kyoto is a beautiful city that inherits traditional Japanese culture. If you go to Kyoto, you can enjoy Japanese traditional culture to your heart's content. On this page, I will introduce the tourist attractions which are especially recommended in Kyoto. This page is long, but if you read this page to ...

Gion Festival(祇園祭)

Float at Yoiyama parade with illuminated lanterns, Gion matsuri festival = Shtterstock

Float at Yoiyama parade with illuminated lanterns, Gion matsuri festival = Shtterstock

Gion Matsuri Floats are wheeled through the city in Japans most famous festival = shutterstock

Gion Matsuri Floats are wheeled through the city in Japans most famous festival = shutterstock

A Japanese geisha performs for Gion Festival at a shrine in Kyoto = shutterstock

A Japanese geisha performs for Gion Festival at a shrine in Kyoto = shutterstock

Many people wear yukata (summer kimono) during the Gion Festival = Shutterstock

Many people wear yukata (summer kimono) during the Gion Festival = Shutterstock

Gion Festival is Japan's most famous summer event. It takes place every July, centered on Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. The highlight of the festival is the parades held on the 17th and 24th.

In Gion, where traditional cityscapes remain, geishas also participate in festival parades. Japanese people who come to see the festival often wear kimono, so you can enjoy the traditional Japanese atmosphere.

>> Please refer to this article about Gion Festival

 

Kawadoko(川床)

Old house and restaurant in Kamo river or kamogawa river at sunset, Gion, Kyoto, Japan = shutterstock

Old house and restaurant in Kamo river or kamogawa river at sunset, Gion, Kyoto, Japan = shutterstock

The building on the right is called "Yuka", the local restaurant seats in a location where the Kamogawa river can be seen outdoors, Kyoto, Japan = AdobeStock

The building on the right is called "Kawadoko" or "Yuka", the local restaurant seats in a location where the Kamogawa river can be seen outdoors, Kyoto, Japan = AdobeStock

People walking around the river ” Kamogawa”. The building on the right is called "Yuka", the local restaurant seats in a location where the river can be seen outdoors, Kyoto, Japan = shutterstock

People walking around the river ” Kamogawa”. The building on the right is called "Yuka", the local restaurant seats in a location where the river can be seen outdoors, Kyoto, Japan = shutterstock

Many restaurants have beautiful Kawadoko in Kifune and Takao = Pixta

Many restaurants have beautiful Kawadoko in Kifune and Takao = Pixta

It is very cool because the river flows under Kawadoko

It is very cool because the river flows under Kawadoko

Every summer in the Kamogawa River, which flows north to south in Kyoto City, the surrounding restaurants set up big terraces of wooden structure so that guests can enjoy their meals on the river.

Japanese call this "Kawadoko" "Kawayuka" "Yuka" etc. It is very cool and comfortable to eat on the river.

Kawadoko is especially abundant in Shijo Kawaramachi.

The beautiful Kawadokos will be prepared in Kifune and Takao located in northern Kyoto. Kawadoko in Kifune and Takao are very popular and difficult to book.

Kawadoko is generally open from May to September.

>> Please refer to this article about Kawadoko of Shijo-Kawaramachi

 

Ukai (鵜飼=cormorant fishing)

In Ukai, fishermen bonfire on the boat. Then the cormorants will find sweetfish easier as the sweetfish is amazed = Pixta

In Ukai, fishermen bonfire on the boat. Then the cormorants will find sweetfish easier as the sweetfish is amazed = Pixta

Ukai (cormorant fishing) is a fishing method where cormorants are made to swallow sweetfish. In Japan since ancient times, fishermen have tame cormorants and continued Ukai.

The cormorants are strapped in their necks, so they can not swallow sweetfish. Once the cormorants catch the sweetfish, the fishermen will immediately get the sweetfish.

A large bonfire is prepared on the boat. This is to make sweetfish move in surprise with light.

Currently, Ukai is continuing for sightseeing. You can see Ukai while eating delicious Kyoto food on a traditional Japanese boat.

Ukai takes place in Arashiyama and Uji.

I would recommend Arashiyama for its tourist services.

The most famous place for Ukai sightseeing is Gifu City, located 150 kilometers east of Kyoto. Since I was born in Gifu, I saw Ukai many times in my childhood. If you really want to enjoy a lot of Ukai, I recommend going to Gifu.

>> Please refer to here for more information about Ukai

 

Gozan Okuribi(五山送り火) = August 16th night

"Gozan okuribi" and lantern floating festival in Kyoto, Japan = Adobe Stock

"Gozan okuribi" and lantern floating festival in Kyoto, Japan = Adobe Stock

This is inscribed in the minds of many Japanese people as a representative scene of Japan's summer

This scene is inscribed in the minds of many Japanese people as a representative scene of Japan's summer

There is "Obon", or the bon festival as one of the most important yearly events for Japanese people. In many cases, the Bon Festival takes place from August 13th to 15th. Kyoto citizens visit the grave of their families at this time. And they make the big bonfire in five mountains to have their ancestors see it. This is "Gozan Okuribi".

Gozan Okuribi is one of Kyoto's most traditional events alongside the Gion Festival.

On the night of August 16, the entire Kyoto city will be in a special atmosphere. If you want to feel old Japan, please go to Kyoto on the night of August 16.

 

I appreciate you reading to the end.

 

For the summer weather, please refer to here.

Panoramic colorful flower field and blue sky in Shikisai-no-oka, Biei, Hokkaido, Japan = Shutterstock
July in Japan! Summer begins in earnest! Beware of the heat!

The climate of Japan in July is anyway hot! After mid July, the maximum temperature during the day often exceeds 35 degrees Celsius. If you are planning to travel in Japan in July, please be careful not to walk too far in the outdoors to become a heat stroke. On this ...

"Gozan okuribi" and lantern floating festival in Kyoto, Japan = Adobe Stock
August in Japan! Attention to typhoons!

The climate of August in Japan, like July, is very hot. In addition to that, typhoons often attack. If you plan to travel in Japan in August, I recommend that you do not go on too much itinerary. On this page, I will introduce useful information when traveling Japan in August. ...

 

 

About me

Bon KUROSAWA  I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.

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投稿日:2019-05-22 更新日:

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