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A geisha/geiko and maiko head to the theater to see the Kamogawa Odori. Notice the different obi sash on the back.2200 viewsA maiko is an apprentice geisha. Her obi sah on the back is long, as well as her sleeves.
kt117c-karuta.youtube
Also watch my Karuta hajime video here.1351 views
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Geiko and maiko in front of Pontocho Kaburenjo theater1039 views
kp101-kips2011.youtube
Video of our group photo exhibition at Kyoto International Community House during Nov. 16-20, 2011. Seven artists exhibited: Micah Gampel, Peter Macintosh, Motoyasu "Musashi" Matsutani. We talk about our work in this 25-min. vid.1017 views
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Court ladies called uneme. Their kimono have a blue wave design. 釆女951 views釆女
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna.841 views
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"Nanohanaya"810 views
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Court ladies called myobu. 命婦792 views
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One of Kyoto's Big Three Festivals, the Kyoto Jidai Matsuri is a procession of over 2,000 people dressed in wardrobe reflecting Kyoto's historical periods from 794 to 1868 during which Kyoto was Japan's capital. Held annually on Oct. 22.759 views
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Court lady called myobu. 命婦722 views
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"Nanohanaya" (Rape blossoms) 菜の花や719 views
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These dance photos were taken in April 2002. Note that taking pictures and videos of the dance are no longer allowed.708 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna. 騎女697 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ681 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ666 viewsThis is a maiko.
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Karyobinga 迦陵頻伽656 views
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Maiko and geisha can often be seen in Gion.650 views
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Sakamoto Ryoma 坂本龍馬645 views
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For more info, see miyako-odori.jp in English or call 075-541-3391.609 views
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Part 2: Passing of Spring in Kyoto, "Nanohanaya" (Rape blossoms) 菜の花や597 viewsPart 2 of the program consists of dance numbers.
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ561 views
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Maiko poses in front of the Naginata-boko float across the street in Kyoto560 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ550 views
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The Saio-dai Princess in 2005 was Saito Ayako, a 21-year-old Kyoto native and student at Doshisha Univ. Her 12-layer juni-hitoe kimono weighs 30 kg. 斎王代、齋藤彩子さん(21)535 viewsThe Saio-dai Princess is selected every year in April and a press conference is held to announce who was chosen. She is always a native of Kyoto, single, and in her early 20s. The Saio-dai was first incorporated in the festival in 1956. In 2005, she is the 50th Saio-dai.

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She wears a juni-hitoe kimono and rides in a carriage called Oyoyo. 斎王代、齋藤彩子さん (21)477 views腰輿(およよ)
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From the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the procession proceeds on main roads to Heian Shrine.465 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ440 views
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Ninomaru Palace entrance, National Treasure 二之丸御殿437 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna.432 views騎女
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Entrance to the road leading to the Cherry Dance theater (Gion Kobu Kaburenjo) in the Gion district. The sign says "Miyako Odori."417 views
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One of Kyoto's Big Three Festivals held on May 15. The Aoi Matsuri's colorful procession of over 500 people in Heian-Period costumes start off at the Kyoto Gosho Imperial Palace and head for the Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines. 378 viewsKyoto Gosho Imperial Palace 京都御所: The first ox carriage waits for the procession to start. The ox carriage is called a gissha. 牛車
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The Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) was the emperor's residence from the 14th century to 19th century. This is the main path to the palace where major festivals such as the Aoi Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri are held.376 views
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Kawaii!!372 views
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The procession basically consists of two columns: The Hon-retsu which includes the procession's highest-ranking official called Chokushi. It consists of men. The second and longer column is the Saio-dai-retsu consisting of women.369 views
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Map and about the Kyoto Gyoen National Garden.367 views
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Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is near this JR Inari Station on the Nara Line, a 5-min. train ride from Kyoto Station. Also near Fushimi-Inari Station on Keihan Line.360 views
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Turning the hoko float at the Kyoto Gion Matsuri.355 views
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Approaching Nishi Hongwanji, the headquarters temple of the Jodo Shinshu Sect (Hongwanji school) in Kyoto. A short walk from Kyoto Station. This is New Year's Day, Jan 1, 2010.338 views
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The Saio-dai Retsu column begins. Consists of all women, highlighted by the Saio-dai Princess.337 views
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Cherry Dance, Kyoto.336 views
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Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto on Jan. 3, 2011. Still hordes of people going to worship for New Year's hatsumode.334 views
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Saio-dai Princess procession. 斎王代317 views
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These men are descendants of the original archers who protected Emperor Kammu. 弓箭組列317 views
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Kyoto geiko and maiko at their best for the finale.312 views
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Miyako Odori, Kyoto304 views
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Model of Kyoto Imperial Palace.302 views
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Path to Kiyomizu-dera is a slope lined with souvenir shops, a tourist trap.295 views
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Yoshino Tayu, a high-ranking geiko entertainer. 吉野太夫292 views1 comments
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Nijo-jo castle was built on the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu to serve as the Kyoto residence for the Tokugawa shoguns. Although it does not have a castle tower, Nijo-jo Castle is Japan's best preserved and most magnificent castle palace.289 viewsSeinan-sumi (Southwest corner) Turret is the first castle building you see when you walk from the station. Important Cultural Property 西南隅櫓
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Scale model of the Kyoto Gyoen National Garden.289 views
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Hiunkaku Pavilion is a National Treasure. Unfortunately, it is not open for public viewing. One of Kyoto's Three Best Pavilions along with Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji Pavilions. 飛雲閣289 views
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PR poster for the Kamogawa Odori geisha dance held during May 1-24 in Pontocho.288 views
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Naginata Hoko and chigo child 稚児288 views長刀鉾
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These portraits come from a larger exhibition at the Oyako Gallery in JR Maibara Station in northern Shiga Prefecture until March 2012.286 views
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Flower umbrella280 views
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We were right near the hanamichi where the geisha performed.272 views
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"Miyako Odori" poster in English.261 views
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Inside the theater, waiting for the start of the 168th Kamogawa Odori (in 2005) to start.260 views
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Pontocho Kaburenjo theater256 views
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Flower umbrella called furyu-gasa. 風流傘252 viewsFlowers are artificial.
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Part 1 Monogusa Soshi: Taro's Shack. Lazy Taro does nothing but compose poems all day in his shack. 物ぐさ草紙 太郎の小屋251 viewsThe first half is a musical play with a storyline.
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On July 16, the night before the Gion Matsuri Yamaboko Junko parade of floats, the Yoiyama display of floats lit up at night attract huge crowds in central Kyoto. You can also enter some of the grand floats.251 views
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3D map of Kyoto Imperial Palace and the route we were allowed to take. For this special occasion of Emperor Akihito's 20th anniversary, we were also allowed to tour the northern palace quarters which is normally closed to the public.249 views
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High-ranking lady of the court247 views
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Entrance to Pontocho Kaburenjo theater. You can buy tickets for the day's performance.246 views
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Pontocho Kaburenjo theater as seen from Kamogawa River.245 views
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A hanamichi is also on the left side of the theater.245 views
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Taro's Shack243 views
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Line at the bus stop. The buses did not come so frequently. So I just walked back to the nearest subway station.240 views
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End of show, see you next year in May!237 views
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Way to Kyoto Ebisu Shrine during Toka Ebisu as seen from Shijo.235 views
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The wooden wheels creak like they did centuries ago.231 views
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Karamon Gate, Important Cultural Property. 唐門230 views
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Otsukaiban is a Meiji government administrator serving as an inspector. 御使番230 views
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Kamogawa River next to the theater.229 views
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Pontocho Kaburenjo theater, venue for Kamogawa Odori.228 views
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Castle map226 views
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The eighth and last corkboard panel showed photos of various rowing clubs rowing around Lake Biwa. Imazu Jr. High Rowing Club, Kyoto University Rowing Club, and a FISA tour.224 views
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Pontocho is a narrow alley and known as a geisha district.221 views
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Note that taking pictures and videos are not allowed.219 views
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Flower umbrella215 viewsThese flower umbrellas are mainly for decorative purposes, to add more color to the procession.
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More signposts reading "Miyako Odori." "Miyako" means capital (Kyoto was once Japan's capital city), and "Odori" means dance.215 views
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Norijiri horseman leads the procession. 乗尻212 viewsThe procession, called Roto-no-Gi (路頭の儀), is actually one of three rites performed during the festival.
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Juni-hitoe kimono worn by the empress.212 views
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Geisha in my midst, in a taxi instead of a rickshaw.212 views
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Ninomaru Garden211 views
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Kiyomizu-dera temple on wooden stilts. Kiyomizu-dera belongs to its own independent Buddhist sect.211 views
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Gion Matsuri is one of Japan's grandest festivals. Held annually in July, the festival's climax is on the 17th and 24th when giant, wooden-wheeled floats are pulled through the streets.209 viewsThis is at the starting point of the Yamahoko Junko procession on July 17.
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Ox carriage with plum blossoms dangling from the roof.208 views
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"Nanohanaya" (Rape blossoms) 菜の花や208 views
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Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. Ticket office is on the right. Best to buy tickets at least a few days in advance.208 views
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Long line for the bus stop.206 views
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斎王代204 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna. 騎女203 viewsThey escort the Saio-dai Princess.
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Honmaru Palace as seen from the castle tower foundation202 viewsImportant Cultural Property
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The cherry dance consists of several acts each with a different dance or play.202 views
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Palace entrance roof199 views
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Ichiriki, a famous geisha tea house.199 views
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Kiyomizu-dera is the 16th temple in the Saigoku Western Japan pilgrimage circuit. The Hondo main hall dates from 1633.199 views
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Everyone is dressed in Heian-Period (794-1185) costumes.196 views
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Gate to Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. Four shows daily in April, lasting about 1 hour (too short). Ticket prices range from 1900 yen to 4300 yen.195 views
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Hollyhock (aoi) leaves 葵194 views
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Tonan-sumi Turret from the street193 views
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No. 4 official of the old police force and court justice called Kebiishi-no-sakan 検非違使志193 views検非違使志
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Pulling a float at the Kyoto Gion Matsuri.193 views
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Mother scolds the daughter for the scuffle with Taro.192 views
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Visitors watch and hum along with the Lake Biwa Rowing music video on an iPad.192 views
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The bull was mooing all the time and was very restless.191 viewsDo bulls moo or do they snort? This was making a loud noise.
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Court lady called myobu. 命婦190 views
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Saio-dai Princess riding on a special palanquin called Oyoyo. 斎王代 腰輿(およよ)189 views腰輿(およよ)
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ189 views
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Saio-dai Princess procession. 斎王代188 views
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Verse 4. From Imazu, the boys rowed across the lake and most likely took a break at Chikubushima island in the middle of northern Lake Biwa. It has been a sacred island for centuries with Hogonji Buddhist temple (宝厳寺) first built in 724.187 views
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All finish186 views
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Magistrate's House185 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna.184 views騎女
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Minami-mon (South) Gate 南門183 views
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The procession's highest-ranking official called Chokushi. An Imperial Messenger. The horse is highly decorated. 勅使183 views
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"Irises" 菖蒲183 views
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Norijiri horseman leads the procession. 乗尻183 views
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"Miyako Odori" poster and paper lantern.183 views
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East Bridge to Honmaru and Honmaru Yagura-mon Gate182 views
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Over 500 people in the procession walk along the 8-kilometer route.182 viewsThere's a lunch break at around noon at Shimogamo Shrine.
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Goeido Founder's Hall182 views1 comments
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Site of Ryukoku Museum across from Nishi Hongwanji.182 views
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One of six court dancers called maibito. 舞人181 views
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Tonan-sumi (Southeast corner) Turret 東南隅櫓180 views
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Ninomaru Kita Otemon Gate179 viewsImportant Cultural Property

二之丸北大手門
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Tonan-sumi (Southeast corner) Turret 東南隅櫓178 views
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Ninomaru Higashi Otemon Gate (Main entrance), Important Cultural Property 二之丸東大手門178 views
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The Heian Period was when Kyoto was the capital of Japan where the Emperor resided.177 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna. They escort the Saio-dai Princess.177 views騎女
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Gate to Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. You can make ticket reservations by phone, or go directly to the theater ticket office and buy tickets.177 views
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Huge crowd177 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna.176 views騎女
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"Nanohanaya"176 views
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"Miyako Odori" sign post. Performed for over a century, the dance makes April a very special time in Kyoto. It helps to hone the dance and musical skills of the geiko and maiko who diligently practice for this annual dance.176 views
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Honmaru Palace175 viewsImportant Cultural Property

本丸御殿
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Honmaru Palace174 viewsImportant Cultural Property
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"Heian" comes from "Heian-kyo," the former name of Kyoto city.174 views
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Musician called baiju. There are seven of them wearing the same wardrobe. 陪従174 views
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PR posters and paper lanterns for the Miyako Odori are everywhere.174 views
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Ninomaru Palace, National Treasure 二之丸御殿173 views
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Ninomaru Palace side view facing the garden. National Treasure172 views
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Kiyomizu-dera Gate172 views
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Inside the Goeido Hall. You have to take off your shoes to enter. This was on Jan. 1, 2010. 御影堂172 views
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A play171 views
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Tonan-sumi (Southeast corner) Turret 東南隅櫓170 views
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Barrels of sake next to the theater.170 views
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Tonan-sumi (Southeast corner) Turret, Important Cultural Property 東南隅櫓169 views
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No. 3 official of the old police force and court justice called Kebiishi-no-jo 検非違使尉169 views検非違使尉
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Ninomaru Garden168 views
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Ceremony at Shimogamo Shrine. 下鴨神社168 viewsThe public is not allowed to see the ceremony within the shrine.
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"Irises" 菖蒲 She rises from beneath the stage.168 views
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Whoa!166 views
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A real crowd pleaser. Thanks for posing!166 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ165 views
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Pagoda and maiko165 views
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Moat between Ninomaru (left) and Honmaru (right)164 viewsEast Bridge in the distance.
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The Saio-dai Princess is the main figure of the procession. She represents the Imperial princess who worked at the Kamo Shrine and served in the Aoi Festival during the Heian Period.164 views腰輿(およよ)
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Taro has a scuffle with the daughter and breaks her koto instrument.164 views
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Climax with cherry blossom motif.164 views
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Way to Shimogamo Shrine.164 views
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Ninomaru Palace side view facing the garden.163 views
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Top of castle tower foundation163 views天守閣跡
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Warehouse wall163 views
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Main stage at front.163 views
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10:30 am: Starting point at Kyoto Gosho Imperial Palace 京都御所 出発162 viewsThe procession is ready to depart.
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"Irises" are in full bloom. 菖蒲162 views
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The Aoi Matsuri started in the early Heian Period in the 8th century as a national or state-sponsored event.161 views
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Naginata float at night161 views
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Kemari Hajime at Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto161 views
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Sanjusangendo in Kyoto is famous for its numerous Kannon statues.161 views
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Wedding attire of the empress wearing juni-hitoe kimono, and the emperor wearing sokutai. 160 views
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Following the Saio-dai Princess are more high-ranking ladies of the court.159 views
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Taro overhears the Lord's daughter trying to compose a poem.158 views
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Kyoto Station158 views
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Dance program for 2005.157 views
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Taro gets to marry the lord's daughter.157 views
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"Irises" She holds an iris flower. She just took a bath with iris leaves. 菖蒲157 views
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Finale: "Hana Utage" (Flower Banquet) 花うたげ157 views
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The Aoi Matsuri (Festival) used to be called Kamo-sai, after the name of the two shrines which hold the festival.156 views賀茂祭
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Maiko pose156 views
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Finale: Throwing hand towels155 views
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Guard house154 views
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Shrine maiden on horseback called Munanori Onna. 騎女154 views
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Autumn154 views
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Foundation of castle tower153 views天守閣跡
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I visited Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine on Jan. 1, 2010. At the Kyoto City Tourist Info office, I asked which shrine was Kyoto's most popular on New Year's Day. They told me it was this shrine, so I came here.153 views
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My favorite sight at Higashi Hongwanji in Kyoto is these giant ropes made of donated human hair. The ropes were used to reconstruct the temple during dire times.153 views
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Next to the geisha photos was Philbert Ono's cove of photos introducing the Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta).153 views
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Even while sitting in the 3rd row, I managed to get some decent shots in between the heads (and cameras) of people sitting in front of me.152 views
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Guard house and Ninomaru Higashi Otemon Gate (Main entrance) 二之丸東大手門150 views
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Top of castle tower foundation150 views天守閣跡
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Naginata float at night150 views
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Somebody had a big head...149 views
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Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto. Inch by inch, we crept toward the main shrine on New Year's Day.149 views
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Ninomaru Higashi Otemon Gate (Main entrance) 二之丸東大手門147 views
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Taro helps her compose her poem.147 views
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The Naginata Hoko is the only one with a live sacred child called "Chigo."147 views長刀鉾
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