Gion Matsuri July 1 – 31 Kyoto, Japan
Gion Matsuri, the festival of Yasaka Shrine, is the among Japan’s most famous festivals. Dating back to 9 AD, it started as a religious ceremony to appease the gods during the outbreak of an epidemic. It takes place over the entire month of July. There are more than 30 different events, but two are particularly renowned: the Yamaboko Junko, a procession of artistic oats on July 17th; and Yoiyama, the festive evenings preceding the procession.
For details visit www.jnto.go.jp/eng.