Gion Festival floats parade through Kyoto
NHK -- Jul 18
Ornately decorated floats paraded through Japan's ancient capital Kyoto on Wednesday at the climax of the annual Gion Festival.

The grand procession began in the morning when a child in traditional costume on the lead float used a sword to cut a sacred rope stretched across one of the city's main streets.

A total of 23 floats made their way through the city, accompanied by traditional music.

Spectators cheered as the heavy floats negotiated right angle turns at intersections, with water-sprayed bamboo sticks laid beneath their wheels.

Police say about 120,000 people lined the streets to watch the parade.

A visitor from Tokyo in her 60s said the floats were beautiful, and that she felt the passion of those involved in the event.

An American who'd come with his family said they'd never seen anything like it and were happy to be there.

Another float parade is to be held next Wednesday.

京都・祇園祭は17日、見せ場となる前祭(さきまつり)の「山鉾(やまほこ)巡行」が行われ、豪華な装飾品で「動く美術館」とも呼ばれる山鉾23基が、都大路を堂々と進んだ。
News sources: NHK, Kyodo
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