Gion Matsuri, one of three big festivals in Kyoto, will be at it’s peak from tomorrow on. It always makes me a bit sad, not to be in Kyoto around this time! The streets are crowded with cheerful people, you can hear the ancient festival music played everywhere from the floats, and the scent of delicious food is in the air. After the end of the rainy season Kyoto gets steamy hot with a humidity close to saturation, the typical Kyoto-in-the-summer atmosphere!
I remember strolling down Shijo-street towards Kamogawa-river with my friends, watching a dance performance, and later in the evening arriving at Yasaka-shrine next to Gion. Many many times I have been walking that route the past decade, but it is never as pleasant as during Gion Matsuri in the evening, when the streets are reserved for pedestrians, and all Kyoto seems to crowd within a few blocks of the old down-town.
Being at my Dojo in the cold and rainy north-west of Germany right now (we had 17 degrees Celius maximum today), it does not help much longing for Kyoto, for the warmth and beauty of Gion Matsuri.
Better gardening a bit in the rain, I believe, instead of dreaming of a warm festival somewhere else! Not some other place, some other time … right here, right now is our Zen-mind! Though, still, it is so beautiful …