Hanagasa Junko, Gion Matsuri

From a photographic point of view, the Hanagasa Junko, the Flower Hat Procession, that takes place on July 24, is full of colors and diversity. This peculiar procession is really different from the two Yamaboko Junko Parades and their large and impressive floats.  Here, the participants are the people of the community, children, older folks, and other groups representing the traditional entertainment arts of Kyoto. Geiko and Maiko from two of the Hanamachi (Geisha districts) also participate. The scale is much smaller but the participants are full of energy and enthusiasm to share their cultural and artistic expressions. 

As the name implies, many of the participants of the Hanagasa Junko are wearing some kind of hat with flowers. There are a number of different groups, each with different costumes, some on horses, other on foot, and again other transported by carts pulled by people. There are even Mikoshi (portable shrines) in the procession pulled by groups of children. 

Here, children wearing white heron costumes will perform the Sagi-Mai, Heron Dance, in front of the Yasaka Shrine.