Both Yamahobo Junko Parades are the highlight of the Gion Matsuri Festival.  They both attract a lot of people, and both sides of the street along the course of the procession are full of people. The floats in the Yoiyama Parade are divided into two groups, Hoko and Yama, and are collectively called Yamaboko (or Yamahoko). There are 9 of the larger Hoko (long pole or halberd) which represent the 66 spears used in the original purification ritual, and 23 of the smaller Yama which

The floats in the Parade are divided into two groups, the Hoko and the Yama, and are collectively called Yamahoko (or Yamaboko). There are 9 of the larger Hoko and 23 of the smaller Yama. All the floats are decorated with beautiful tapestries both from Nishijin (the finest in all of Japan) and imported from all over the world. In addition to the art, there are many traditional musicians and artists sitting in the floats. In 2009 Yamahoko was listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Each float belongs to and is taken care of by a family or a corporation. They are rebuilt each year during the days preceding the parades that take place on the 17th and the 24th of July.  Each float is pulled and manned by a number of people dressed in kimono, yukata or historical attire.  These are pulled and driven by 30 to 40 men for the larger Hoko, with two men piloting and pulled, pushed or carried by 14 to 24 people for the smaller Yama.   

Of course, the best photos are taken from the middle of the street, facing straight at the float — a location that is almost impossible to reach without being yelled at by some of the numerous security and other policemen present everywhere along the course of the parade.