The Aoi Matsuri is annual festival that spans two weeks with numerous events.
The final event of Aoi Matsuri is a parade. This parade starts at the imperial palace (near Demachiyanagi station) then moves to Shimogamo where traditional performances are held in the shrine while the parade party has a lunch break. After two hours at Shimogamo the parade follows the roads along the Kamo river north to Kamigamo shrine.
This is a photo journal from Tuesday 5/15/2018.
|The parade group leaving Shimogamo shrine.|
|Getting onto the horse with portable steps and many attendants.|
|Gloves and a riding crop.|
|Ready for the parade (there is no horseback archery on this day).|
|Floral arrangements on top of the parasols.|
|A koto (a type of Japanese harp) being carried away from the shrine.|
Performances of traditional arts take place within Shimogamo shrine on the maido (shrine stage).
|Bugaku performers exit the shrine with their long garments (shitagasane?) trailing behind them.|
|Several tiger pelts accompany the procession.|
This seems like an aristocratic status symbol of the Heian but may be viewed as politically incorrect given the decline of tiger populations and animal activism.
|The gate to Shimogamo shrine.|
Note the imperial kiku-mon crests.
|Floral umbrellas. In the background you can see some of the kazari-daru (decorative sake barrels).|
|Kyogen, a type of comical Noh performance.|
This play is called "Kaki Yamabushi" sometimes called "The Persimmon Thief" in English.
Here a hungry monk is climbing a persimmon tree to steal the fruit.
|The novice yamabushi is discovered by the tree owner while he is high in tree (hence standing on this stool).|
|Discovered, the thief pretends to be bird in the tree.|
|Having failed at his attempt to fly out of the tree like an eagle, the injured thief demands to be cared for by the tree owner.|
|Another kyogen performance. This performer also seems to be depicting a yamabushi, judging by the fuzzy ball ornaments on the costume. ???|
|A noble lady being carried on a cart.|
|The parade passes along the Kamo river between Shimogamo and Kamigamo shrines.|
Here a fast shitter speed (1/200 sec) shows the water that is frothy with many droplets.
|A tourist crossing the river. The river banks here near the Kyoto Botanical Garden are a very nice park.|
|The secondary gate of Kamigamo shrine where the parade party stops for the final round of ceremonies.|
The color is nice in this shot with a circular polarization filter helping to balance glare.
|A wider shot that adds some border space to the parade parasols and spear; the color is not as vivid here and the scene seems less expansive as it did when the some of the subject was partially cut off.|
|A group of men lined up so their swords seem to be jumbled together in the same sight line.|
|Leaving Kamigamo shrine for the final horse ceremony.|
|Participant bow to the honored guest before the horse ceremony.|
|Preparing to watch the horses pass.|
|About 5 (?) horses race past the spectators one-by-one.|
|Note the hollylock (aoi) branches on their hats.|
|The ema plates at the shrine reflect the various horse traditions of Kamigamo shrine.|
Note the komainu plate which has the emblem of the hollylock emblem Kamo shrines.
|"Aoi Festival; Kami Gamo Shrine"|
The ema plate depicts the iconic ox cart of the Aoi Festival.
|Note the golden hollylock emblem on the banner.|
|A horse made of forutne papers (omikuji). These can be seen at the shrine every year as their is strong tie to horses.|
|A Dog figure (with long ears) as 2018 was the year of the dog.|