Aoi festival in Kyoto

Aoi festival in Kyoto

One of the 3 main annual festivals in Kyoto, the Aoi Matsuri, was held on Tuesday.

The festival features a procession of people in costumes originally worn in a court in the ancient Heian era.

It is said that the festival dates back about 1,400 years to a time when the Emperor Kinmei got horses to gallop through the ancient capital to pray for a bountiful harvest.

23 year-old Shiho Sakashita played the main part of the Imperial Princess, dressed in a ceremonial 12-layered kimono.

She said she felt the weight of tradition, but would do her best for her role.

About 500 people wearing costumes decorated with hollyhock leaves left the Old Imperial Palace for the Kamigamo-jinja Shrine.

A woman in her 50s said the princess was beautiful and she wondered whether noble ladies in those days were like that.

A man in his 70s from Tokyo said he was fascinated by the outstanding parade.