Gion Matsuri Hoko Pulling Practice!

After lunch, we walked down to Shijo.

Along the way, we passed a shrine that (surprisingly!!), Teddy and I had never visited called Goou Jinja. Instead of komainu standing guard at the shrine, there are komainoshishi (boar).

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A wheel with kanji inscriptions.

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An enma with a boar.

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Two boar carved from wood.

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People have written wishes on these boar sticks.

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Super cute enma.

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My mom with the shrine’s mascot.

We also got to see a Shinto wedding ceremony being performed while we were there, so that was interesting!

Finally, we made our way to Shijo Karasuma, and met up with a teacher I used to work with, Yoshioka-sensei. He asked us to meet him there so we could try pulling a hoko!! Hoko are huge festival floats that weigh 12,000 kg and are 25 meters high!

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This is the one we pulled (Kokan-boko).

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A close-up of the men in the hoko.

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The wheels can only go straight, so when they need to turn, they have to drive a wedge underneath the wheels and hit them with hammers to turn the float.

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Teddy, Mom, and Yoshioka-sensei in front of the float we pulled. My mom almost fell while we were pulling, but luckily, me, Yoshioka-sensei, and a bunch of the people around us helped pull her up so she didn’t.

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Another of the floats.

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Some of the men have to sit on the roff of the float and pull ropes to move the top of the float so it doesn’t hit any buildings, signs, or powerlines.

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After seeing some of the floats, Yoshioka-sensei took us to Rokkaku-do, a temple with a stone that marks the exact center of Kyoto City.

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He also took us out for sweets! Here’s me and Teddy with Yoshioka-sensei.

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Mom and Brittany with Yoshioka-sensei’s wife.

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Mom and I both got Zenzai.

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Yoshioka-sensei got a Wa-fu Parfait.

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His wife got the Kyomiyama Parfait.

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Brittany and Teddy both got Maccha Parfaits.

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After splitting up, we went back to Kyoto Station, and Mom bought a model of the float we pulled!

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Mom also got a Happy Meal!

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She got a cute Pokemon toy, too. She got to pick which she wanted!

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I grabbed us all a bunch of free fans so we didn’t die in the sweltering Kyoto heat.

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Yoshioka-sensei and his wife bought this good luck charm for my mom.

Well, that’s all for Kyoto!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Marie Elder
    Jul 13, 2014 @ 23:56:02

    Pulling a float..how cool is that?!!!!

    Reply

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