The Gion Festival was the first thing we went to in Kyoto. It was a large festival in which floats traveled around the large Gion area for 3-4hrs in the morning. These floats were large enough to carry over a dozen people in them. In each one, there is a small boy painted white like the ‘Juon’ boy, whom apparently has spent the last 14 days living up there.
As far as festivals went, I wasn’t very impressed with this one. Sure everything was big and fancy, but it didn’t have the ‘life’ or ‘spirit’ of smaller local festivals. The streets were quite crowded, and there were barriers erected and seating areas, all very formal and un-fun. But I guess that is the way of festivals in big cities.