Like the Gion Matsuri, Kyoto's summer festival, the Aoi Matsuri has its roots in ritual and began in the eighth century. Properly known as the Kamo Matsuri, the Aoi Matsuri features an impressive parade in the style of the Heian Court. The procession is made up of costumed participants, many riding horses and others leading bullocks, and is visually stunning - a definite must-see for photographers. The route takes the participants from the Imperial Palace to the Kamigamo Shrine, and is held yearly on May 15th. Though more a parade than a festival, the Aoi Matsuri is well worth seeing, and Into Japan Specialist Tours would be delighted to include it in your tailor made tour to Japan.
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