Shinko-Sai Ceremony during the Gion Matsuri, Kyoto

The Shinko-Sai ceremony takes place on the evening of July 17th, after the big procession or Yamaboko Junko.  During this Shinko-Sai ceremony, the three deities from Yasaka Shrine are transferred to the Otabisho (the temporary deity abode) on Shijo street, placed on three  Mikoshi or portable shrines. 

Upon their departure from the shrine, all three Mikoshi are raised high and rotated in front of the stone steps at the entrance of the Yasaka shrine,  an awesome spectacle. Each Mikoshi then takes a different route to Otabisho, through each of the designated areas where people are under the protection of the deity. After arriving, the deities will stay at the temporary abode until they are returned to the shrine during the Kanko-Sai ceremony on July 24th. 

We chose to follow the Nishigoza Mikoshi procession, the one carrying the deity protecting the neighborhood where we live. The rhythm of the procession and the energy demonstrated by the men carrying the Mikoshi are impressive, and I have not yet been able to translate this into a photo the way I’d like to.