so, i guess i didn't get this up when i said i would. sorry about that. been really busy this week! last week of at home classes (one more next tuesday, though), the trial student signed up for lessons at the juku, last minute shopping for the little parties i threw for my classes and sasha had 'camp' at the kindergarten. don't forget all the arguing and all-around snottiness the kids have been going through and it's a wonder i got any blogging done this week!

anyway, more photos! the one above was taken because this particular machi wanted to have the dancers have their pictures taken with the foreigners. finally, finally, someone has cottoned on that rachel lives right there and is there every year. i think this is also the machi that made announcements in english as well as japanese. it was a nice surprise.


i remember her from last year.








i remember this boy from the past two years, too.


look at the ceiling of the gion-guruma. beautiful paintings. (yes, i was kneeling in the street for this shot!

getting ready to get off the ride

so, finally the last of the gion-gurumas have passed, and then comes the mikoshi. first, a drum and flute accompanied by children.




mikoshi, carried by many strong men.


looks tough. actually, they were preparing to lift it high so we could run under it. as this is the last 'stop' on the route, and the street was in full sun by this time, it must have been very tough at this point!



and so, they lifted it. and we ran under (i was first!) and back.

emerging from under the mikoshi

i love this shot, so much action! this is rachel and erica (check out her hair!) this doesn't happen every year, but we also did this two years ago.


and so, the mikoshi moves on. then it's the shrine's priest (high priest?) and usually he is pulled along in a rickshaw. this year, however...


shrine guy

sorry that the last photo is so poor. he really had his kimono and little hat on, truly the shrine guy! LOL must have been hot this year!

well, after that we went back to the house for some lunch. i made guacamole (yum!) and we all ate. it was so great! sadly, though, we had to leave because the kindergarten's summer festival was that evening. *sigh* so many things to do, and not enough time!!

whole matsuri set can be found here.