If there is one festival you shouldn’t miss…

it’s Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri on the 17th of July. It was on a Tuesday, so we weren’t able to see the big procession of floats, but the preparations that start 3 days before (the so called ‘Yoiyama’, leading up to the event) are equally worth a visit. So we impulsively decided on Friday to go on a last minute weekend trip.  It’s only a two-hour drive from Toyota. Accomodation was still available but a bit more expensive and it was worth it. We were stunned by Kyoto: it is beautiful, peaceful and quiet, we loved the city and will definitely return. Unfortunately last weekend was the hottest in years, with temperatures rising to 37 degrees. Our little one courageously survived the baby carrier.

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As Gion Matsuri is the festival of the Yasaka shrine, of course we visited that one and walked through the Gion district. We also visited the famous red temples Kiyomizu-dera and we spent quite some time hiding from the heath in the oldest Zen Temple in Kyoto: Kennin-ji. Kairikya serves delicious ramen!

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