Hassaku in Gion, Kyoto

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The first of August is a very special day in Kyoto’s Gion neighborhood.  “Hassaku” is a term that designates the first day of the eighth month of the ancient Japanese calendar.  During the Gion’s hassaku, the “Geiko” (a local term in Kyoto for geisha) and the “Maiko” (geisha apprentice) go from one tea house to another (“chaya”) to thanks the owners for their support the preceding year, offering them a small gift as a token of their gratitude. They do so wearing beautiful formal black kimono and it is a rare chance to see many of them.

It was really hot, and as expected quite crowded (by photographers and tourists), but I decided to go to have a look and take a few photos.

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Rain over the Hanamachi, Kyoto
Hanagasa Junko Parade, Kyoto