Kyoto CIRs participated in the Gion Festival! 京都府の国際交流員が祇園祭に参加した!


IMG_0363Gion MatsuriOn July 17th, 4 CIRs of Kyoto Prefecture (Mark at Kyoto Prefectural Office, Jake in Seika Town, Brian in Kizugawa and Eric in Kameoka) participated in the Gion Festival and pulled one of the big float, the Houka Hoko.
In spite of the typhoon and heavy rain, all of them had the brighest smiles during the day, and were delighted to have been able to participate in such a major festival, as well as being able to experience first-hand Japanese culture and traditions.

Gion Matsuri7月17日(金)に京都府国際交流員の4名(府国際課のマーク、精華町のジェーク、木津川市のブライアン、亀岡市のエリック)が祇園祭に参加して、放火鉾を引きました。


Mark (CIR in Kyoto Prefectural Office, from Scotland)
マークより (スコットランド出身、京都府国際課CIR)

Gion MatsuriHi everyone, Mark here!
I had the pleasure, and privilege, of taking part in the first of the two parades of the Gion Festival (the saki-matsuri, 前祭) on the 17th July, along with Jake, Brian, and Eric. Although there were worries that the typhoon would scupper the plans, we all got up bright and early anyway to head over and get ready. Ultimately we got the green-light to go ahead, so after getting dressed into our outfits, donning the hats, and taking pictures, we joined the 50-strong team to heave the Houkahoko through the wind and rain.

I’m actually very glad for the rain as it kept us cool throughout the day, and although it was a little tough at times, I think I would have struggled more in the blazing heat of a sunny summer’s day!

I had a really great time, especially along Oike-dori and Shinmachi-dori when everyone was cheering us on and shouting words of encouragement, despite the bad weather. Hearing and seeing them cheer us on really gave me the extra energy I needed towards the end to finish the day. I am also happy to have finally experienced first-hand Kyoto’s pre-eminent festival and feel more attached to the city.

I’m very grateful to KPIC for organising it, and perhaps we can take part again next year!

Gion Matsuri皆さん、こんにちは!マークです~





Jake (CIR in Seika Town, from America)
ジェークより (精華町CIR、アメリカ出身)

Gion MatsuriGion Masturi was a lot of fun! The Hoko cart was surprisingly heavy though, so I am happy it rained. If I had to pull it when it was sunny out, it would have been really tough. It was also nice to see all the spectators cheering us on. Thanks to them pulling the Hoko didn’t feel so tiring. I think it was a good experience and I would love to be able to do it again if I have the chance.

Gion Matsuri祇園祭りはとても楽しかったです。鉾は思ったより重かったから雨降ってよかったと思います。晴れている日に鉾を引いていたらもっと難しかったかもしれません。また、観察者が応援してくれて、嬉しかったです。おかげ様で鉾を引いてもそんなに疲れなかったです。とてもいい経験だったと思います。機会があればまた参加したいと思います。


Brian (CIR in Kizugawa, from America)
ブライアン (木津川市CIR、アメリカ出身)

Gion MatsuriIMG_0427It was an honor to participate in Gion Festival, one of the three representative festivals of Japan. I have been to the Gion Festival while I was studying abroad in Kyoto, but never have I imagined myself actually being a part of the festival and pulling the floats. The volunteers, the locals, the visitors, the community came together for the millennium-old tradition. Although we were all soaked by the downpour, it didn’t take away our passion. It was a great experience.


Eric (Kameoka CIR) was the flag holder for the float! エリック(亀岡CIR)が鉾の旗を持つという大事な役割が与えました!

Eric (Kameoka CIR) was the flag holder for the float!


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