This is one of Japan’s most famous festivals, held in the Gion district during the whole of July. The festival started as a religious ritual to appease the gods following a deadly plague in 869.
The highlight of the festival is the ‘Yamahoko Junko’, a parade held on the 17th and 24th July, where decorated wagons are pulled through the streets. In the days before the parade the streets are lined with night stalls selling snacks and sweets. In a tradition known as the ‘Byobu Matsuri’, some private houses in the kimono merchant district display their family heirlooms and allow people to see a traditional Japanese residence.