Gion Matsuri: Shinkōsai

Gion Matsuri: Shinkōsai

Today’s post is about the Shinkosai. At Yasaka Shrine four mikoshi (portable shrines) paraded through the neighborhood and then were carried down Shijo dori.

Two perspectives on a research exchange in Asia

Two perspectives on a research exchange in Asia

I eluded to this in April, but I am currently working at Kyoto University as a visiting researcher. Funded by the Young Researchers’ Exchange Programme, I could spend six months abroad to collaborate with another chemistry group and learn new skills. At the same time, a colleague of mine in the Morandi group, Elliott, went to Seoul, South Korea for a research exchange.

Gion Matsuri: Saki Yamaboko Parade

Gion Matsuri: Saki Yamaboko Parade

If one had to choose the highlight of Gion Matsuri, it would be the parade of floats on Sunday. After the floats had been constructed and exhibited, they are pulled through the heart of Kyoto.

Gion Matsuri: Saki Matsuri Yoiyama

Gion Matsuri: Saki Matsuri Yoiyama

Kyoto’s biggest festival is back after two years of hiatus. Today’s post will be about the festivities leading up to the saki matsuri yamaboko parade, the yoi(yoiyoi)yama.

Mimuroto Temple hydrangea garden

Mimuroto Temple hydrangea garden

With June comes the rainy season (at least normally) and with it the hydrangea blossoms. One of the best places to see them is Mimuroto Temple in Uji.

Yabusame Horseback Archery

Yabusame Horseback Archery

Have you ever heard about Yabusame? It is a traditional archery performed at shinto shrines. I went to see the yabusame at Omi Shrine near Kyoto.

Visiting the deer fawn

Visiting the deer fawn

Nara is always worth a visit. In June the deer fawn were just born and can be viewed in a protected area before they are released with their parents.

Arashiyama and the Hozukyo ravine

Arashiyama and the Hozukyo ravine

Since my trip to Amanohashidate in May I wanted to come back to see the Hozukyo ravine between Kyoto and Toyooka. Luckily the historic train line that follows the river course has been maintained and a historic train operates on the line as a tourist attraction.

Hiei Garden Museum

Hiei Garden Museum

Kyoto is surrounded by mountains from three sides, one of them is Mt. Hiei. The mountain top is easily accessible by a combination of train, cable car and ropeway but it is also a popular hiking destination and it is

The white castle of Himeji

The white castle of Himeji

Himeji Castle is my favorite castle in Japan because it is one of the few original castles that were not lost to war and fire unlike many modern reconstructions.