Kyoto's Top Three Festivals in May

By Kyoto Expert: Satoko, Japan, May 2011

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May is one of the best seasons to visit Kyoto to enjoy its breathtaking collaboration of colorful flowers and fresh green throughout the city. Also you can't miss a great chance to enjoy one of Kyoto's Top Three Festivals, 'Aoi Matsuri' or 'Hollyhock Leaf Crest Festival'.

The festival is an annual and originated in the 6th century, well-known for the most solemn and graceful festivals in Japan. You would be amazed to see such a gorgeous paraders in ancient noble costumes and ox carriage decorated with distinctive Aoi (hollyhock) innocent purple leaves.

The festival is a month-long and the main event is 700-meter-long parade from the Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Shrine on 15th of May. But there are several spectacular events as preparation. They are really powerful like 'Demonstrations of mounted Archery' called Yabusame ritual on 3rd of May. It's superhuman performance of shooting arrows  from running horses on the gallop. Or 'Horse Racing' called Kurabe-Uma-e on 5th of May. The pairs of horse riders in ancient costume compete for speed. Enjoy the cool and solemn ancient world in Old Capital of Japan. 

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