Gion Matsuri Festival
Often referred as one of Japan's biggest three festivals, the Gion Matsuri festival is Kyoto's liveliest of gatherings. In July, ornate, portable shrines and floats called mikoshi are paraded down the streets, widely described as "mobile art museums". Children adorned in traditional make up and musicians playing various instruments sit atop these floats and entertain the joy-filled audience below.
Hana Touro Festivals
Kyoto is another one of Japan's cities that values the culture and history behind local festivals. During the wintertime, the Kyoto Arashiyama Hana Touro is the most celebrated festival by the Japanese. Here, locals will line the central river with 2,600 illuminated lanterns and large ikebana flower displays. A tour of the festival is available for those who want to learn more about this valued tradition. Moreover, in the spring time, visitors flock to the Kyoto Higashiyama Hana Touro, which is one of Kyoto's most popular festival. Residents will line the busy Higashoji Street with flowers and lanterns made from traditional Japanese materials as visitors take a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. An English tour of the Higashiyama festival is also available to those who would like to participate in this famous event.
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