JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Saio Matsuri Festival at Saiku 第36回 斎王まつり・斎宮跡


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Meiwa is a rural town (pop. 22,500) next to Ise and noted as the site of the Saiku Palace (斎宮) where the Ise Jingu Grand Shrines' High Priestess (Saio princess, also spelled Saioh) resided during the 7th to 14th centuries. The Saio princess was an unmarried, young Imperial princess, often the Emperor's daughter, who was appointed (by divination) to be the High Priestess of Ise Grand Shrines. Each time a Saio princess was appointed as the new High Priestess, she traveled from Kyoto to the Saiku Palace in Meiwa.
Held annually on the first full weekend in June, the Saio Matsuri festival reenacts part of the Saio princess procession traveling from Kyoto to the Saiku Palace. The main highlight is the Saio princess procession on the second and main day of the festival. The festival is held on the site of the Saiku Palace where pillar holes and other ruins have been found over a large area.
Closest station is Saiku Station on the Kintetsu Yamada Line which is the same train line that goes on to Ise-shi (Ise Grand Shrines) and Toba Station (Mikimoto Pearl Island).

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Saiku History Museum 斎宮歴史博物館


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Museum explaining about the Saiku Palace and the Saio princess. Lots of exhibits related to the Saiku Palace, Saio princess, her journey from Kyoto, and customs. Officially named in English "Saiku Historical Museum."
Closest station is Saiku Station on the Kintetsu Yamada Line which is the same train line that goes on to Ise-shi (Ise Grand Shrines) and Toba Station (Mikimoto Pearl Island).

50 files, last one added on Apr 20, 2020
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