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Bean-Flinging Ceremony Draws Crowds to Kyoto Shrine (Video)

Gorgeously dressed geiko and maiko throw packets of beans to the crowd at Kyoto’s Yasaka Shrine as part of Setsubun celebrations on February 2, 2018. A ceremonial dance performance preceded the throwing ritual, and together they formed a prayer for protection from misfortune over the year ahead. (© Jiji)

Ball-Juggling Ritual Marks New Year at Kyoto Shrine (Japan in Photos)

Members of the Kemari Preservation Society play the ancient ball game at Kamo Shrine in Kyoto on January 4, 2018. Kemari (kickball), a game where players cooperate to keep a ball in the air for as long as possible, was popular with aristocrats in the Heian period (794–1185). The society holds a ritual game at the start of each year with members showing off their nifty footwork while wearing co…

Repair of 1,001 Buddhist Statues in Kyoto Completed (News)

Kyoto, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)—Preservation and repair work has been completed for 1,001 statues of thousand-armed Kannon Bodhisattva at the Sanjūsangendō Buddhist hall in Kyoto. The last set of statues to be restored were installed at the hall, a popular sightseeing spot, on Friday. Workers return the last of the restored statues to their places at Kyoto's Sanjūsangendō hall on December 22. (…

Shaking Off the Dust: End-of-Year Cleaning at a Kyoto Temple (Japan in Photos)

Buddhist priests and adherents take part in ritual cleaning at Nishihonganji in Kyoto on December 20, 2017. Susuharai, literally “sweeping away the soot,” is a traditional activity at the end of each year. At the headquarters of the Jōdo Shinshū school, 700 people beat tatami mats with sticks to shake up a year of dust before fanning it away. (© Jiji)

Kyoto Passes Ordinance to Introduce Accommodation Tax (News)

Kyoto, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)—The Kyoto city assembly on Thursday passed an ordinance to levy an accommodation tax on people who stay at hotels and other accommodations in the western Japan city. The Kyoto government hopes to introduce the tax of ¥200 to ¥1,000 per night in October 2018 after obtaining approval from the internal affairs ministry. The revenue from the tax, estimated at ¥4.6 bill…

Bubble Era Disco Maharaja Reopens in Kyoto (News)

Kyoto, Sept. 21 (Jiji Press)—Maharaja, a popular disco during Japan's bubble economy era in the 1980s, reopened in Kyoto's Gion district this month. The nightclub aims to attract people who enjoyed the asset-inflated bubble economy, as well as foreign tourists, by making use of Gion's position as the site of a number of sightseeing spots. In the 1980s and 1990s, there were some 60 Maharaja d…

Starbucks Blends into Kyoto Surroundings (News)

Kyoto, June 27 (Jiji Press)—Starbucks is dropping its standard design for a new outlet in Kyoto to harmonize with the atmosphere of Japan’s former capital. Opening on June 30, 2017, the shop is based in a traditional two-story Japanese building over a century old. It is located just a short walk from the temple Kiyomizudera, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Push through the noren curtain …

Huge Crowd Gathers to Perform Yoga at Kyoto Shrine (Japan in Photos)

A crowd of 1,300 people performing yoga in front of a large torii gate at Heian Shrine in Kyoto. The June 18 gathering of aficionados, planned by a local organization and the Indian consulate for Osaka and Kobe, came three days ahead of International Yoga Day. “It gave me a feeling of peace to spend this period of calm together with so many other people,” said Takashima Misa, a Kyoto resident …

Gion Festival Organizer Raises over ¥10 Million via Crowdfunding (News)

Kyoto (Jiji Press)—The Gion Festival organizer in Kyoto has raised over ¥10 million through crowdfunding to cover patrolling and other costs for the festival which boasts a history of more than 1,100 years. A giant yamahoko float parades through the streets of central Kyoto on July 17, 2016, during the yamahoko junkō (float parade) event of the annual Gion Festival. Twenty-three floats took pa…

“Maiko” Theater Gaining Popularity in Kyoto (News)

Kyoto (Jiji Press)—A recently opened theater in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward featuring maiko, young female entertainers, is becoming a popular tourist attraction for visitors from abroad. A maiko posed to welcome guests. (© Coco/Pixta) At the Maiko Theater, launched in late 2016, audiences can enjoy dance performances by maiko and eat and drink with the apprentice female entertainers, who are i…

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