Japan has a rich nature, surrounded by oceans, mountains, rivers, and changing seasons. The people have been in awe of various deities called "Kami", such as Kami of the mountain, Kami of forests, Kami of winds, and Kami of rice, as spiritual beings that possess supernatural power beyond human understanding, such as blessings and threats to nature. People welcome "Kami", make offerings, recite Shinto prayers, and express gratitude to "Kami."

The three great festivals in Kyoto

Aoi Matsuri (May 15)

Kamigamo and Shimogamo Shrine_上賀茂神社と下賀茂神社の葵祭

The Aoi Matsuri is a Shinto ritual of Kamigamo and Shimogamo Shrines with a history of over 1,400 years. The main attraction is a large parade on May 15 with more than 500 people dressed in the style of the Heian period.
 (Source: 京都フリー写真素材集)

Gion Matsuri (July)

The Gion Matsuri is a Yasaka Shrine ritual held during July. The main attraction is the 34 Yamahoko Floats Procession held on July 17 and 24. Yoiyama is attractive to see the floats as the sun sets, and the lanterns are lit.

Jidai Matsuri (Oct 22)

Jidai Matsuri Festival Kyoto_平安神宮の時代祭り

The Jidai Festival is held on October 22. A large parade dressed in authentic costumes representing an 1100-year history from the Heian to Edo period. About 2,000 people walk from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to the Heian Jingu Shrine.
(Source: KYOTOdesign)

The three great Dashi Float festivals in Japan

Takayama Festival

Takayama Festival, Dashi Floats with Karakuri dolls_高山祭のからくり山車

Several large ornate floats called “Yatai” are drawn on April 14-15 and October 9-10. In front of the shrine, the Karakuri dolls on the floats perform subtle and impressive movements in dedication to the deities.

Kyoto Gion Festival

The Gion Matsuri is Yasaka Shrine ritual held during July. The main attraction of the 34 Yamahoko Floats Procession is held on July 17 and 24. Yoiyama is attractive to see

The three major strange festivals in Japan

Onbashira Matsuri

Large tree pillars down the slope in a single bound. Onbashira Matsuri is Suwa Taisha Shrine's sacred ritual ceremony held once every seven years with more than 1200 years of history.