Last weekend Mewby and I visited some of the Tanabata festival events now ongoing along the Horikawa and the Kamogawa rivers. Tanabata is the annual star festival celebrating “the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively)” (see more on Wikipedia!). The festival is celebrated on July 7th according to the modern calendar, but Kyoto celebrates by the old lunar calendar and so these events take place between August 3rd and 12th.
We went to see some of the illuminated artworks along the Horikawa last Sunday. They have many pieces fashioned from bamboo and light which are open to various interpretations.
A kind of Milky way tunnel of love…
And a host of bamboo wish trees…
We were very glad we got there early before it started to rain and it got really crowded. I recommend doing the same and avoiding this sort of kerfuffle:
There’s also a number of craft beer stalls and ice creams on the arcade on the west side of Horikawa Street but if you really want food get yourself to the Kamo river!
There you will find all kinds of tasty food stalls selling regional dishes from across the country. I particularly recommend the Alt craft beer from Akita. I had a couple of those. They also have a Yuzen dyeing demonstration in the river…
Anyway, the festival by the Kamo is a really fun summery event and one we both really enjoyed. I’m sure we’ll be back this weekend.
Check the Kyoto Tanabata Festival website for more details. Other events on currently are:
Myoshinji Temple Light Up (August 9th-10th)
Kyoto Gojo Pottery Festival (August 7th-10th) – which Mr. Robert Yellin recommends visiting from dusk till 10pm.
Shimogamo Used Book Festival (August 11th – 16th)
and the rather spooky Rokudo Mairi (August 7th – 10th).
Many thanks to Sanborn Brown for keeping us all informed via his excellent Miyako on Two Wheels blog.