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Kyoto Dream Trips
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Yesterday, June 30th, the annual Summer Purification festival, commonly known as Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓), was held all over Japan. Kyoto, the old Heian capital, is a favourite spot to enjoy this festival. The weather wasn’t all that bright today with rain forecast in the late afternoon. I was in town today and went on a “Chinowa” photo shoot.
Kifune shrine was on my list and I made it there just on time to experience the entire Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓) purification ceremony. Kifune shrine is a major power spot in Kyoto and a romantic spot along the kawadoko trail of Sakyo-ku.
After a small ceremony at the Hondo, the shinto priests walked through the chinowa followed by two boys carrying a wooden box containing white pieces of paper shaped like a person.
After the ceremony the shinto priests followed by the faithful went down to the river. The shinto priests then threw the paper amulets in the Kifune River.
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Kyoto is gearing up for the annual Tanabata  (七夕) festival (July 7th). These pictures were taken at Kifune Shrine in Kyoto. #KifuneShrine, #貴船神社, #Tanabata, #七夕,
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Good morning, Ohayou gozaimasu! One of the first pristine lotus flowers in a small pond at Yoshida Shrine (吉田神社) in Kyoto. #YoshidaShrine, #吉田神社, #lotusFlower
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One of my favourite shrines in Kyoto, Goō Shrine (護王神社), across from the Imperial Palace. As usual they have a Chinowa wreath set up in their premises and will have a ceremony later on today.  #GoōShrine, #護王神社,  #Kyoto, #夏越の祓
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Happening tomorrow....enjoy this small video clip of the ceremony!  #KitanoTenmangū, #北野天満宮, #Kyoto, #茅の輪
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I've been working in my garden today, these are my hydrangea, have a wonderful Sunday and thank you for your support!
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They are getting more beautiful every year
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Kyoto Dream Trips

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Kifune shrine is a major power spot in Kyoto and a romantic spot along the kawadoko trail of Sakyo-ku.
After a small ceremony at the Honden (本殿), the shinto priests walked through the chinowa followed by two boys carrying a wooden box containing hitogata (人形), white pieces of paper shaped like a person.
After the Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓) ceremony the shinto priests followed by the faithful went down to the river. The shinto priests then threw the paper amulets in the Kifune River. #KifuneShrine, #貴船神社, #Kyoto, #夏越の祓
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Chinowa at Shiramine Shrine (白峯神宮) in Kyoto, during the annual Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓) festival. Note the banners for Japan’s national soccer team “Samurai Blue” in the back ground.  #Shiramineshrine , #白峯神宮 , #Kyoto , #夏越の祓 , #BlueSamurai  #サムライブルー
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A not so well know shrine, but historically of great importance, it dates back to 811 and founded by Priest Nichien , a priest of Shugendō (修験道). The Kumano Shrine (京都 熊野神社) had a chinowa set up and many worshippers came here to be purified during the annual Nagoshi no Harae ceremony.   #Kyoto , #夏越の祓 , #KumanoShrine , #京都熊野神社
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Close-up view of the Chinowa with the Hondo in the background at  Heian Shrine (平安神宮) in Kyoto. It was still early in the morning, so not so many people to pass through for the annual Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓), Summer Purification ceremony. #HeianShrine, #平安神宮, #Kyoto, #夏越の祓
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Tomorrow, June 30th, many shrines will hold an ancient Japanese purification rite called Nagoshi no Harae (夏越の祓). In this ceremony started in the Nara period, people atone for their sins in the first half of the year and then pray for their health for the remainder of the year by walking through a tall chinowa wreath ( 茅の輪). A chinowa is a large sacred ring. These shrines in Kyoto will hold  a Nagoshi no Harae ceremony: Kenkun Shrine, Kamigamo Shrine, Yoshida Shrine, Jishu Shrine, Jonan-gu Shrine, Shiramine Shrine, Kurumazaki Shrine, Kifune Shrine, Nonomiya Shrine and Umenomiya Taisha Shrine.
You can read about my experience of the Nagoshi no Harae at Kitano Tenman-gu here: http://www.kyotodreamtrips.com/2013/07/04/nagoshi-no-harae-kitano-tenman-gu/   #KitanoTenmangū, #北野天満宮, #Kyoto, #茅の輪
Nagoshi-no-harae: On this day people go to a shrine and pass through a chinowa to be purified of all defilement's (kegare) and protected from misfortune.
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In this picture the Konpon Daitō (根本大塔) (centre) on your left the Miedō (御影堂) and on the right the Kondō (金堂). In the foreground is the famous Sanko no Matsu (三鈷の松-Trident Vajra Pine Tree). There is a legend attached to this pine tree. When Kōbō-Daishi departed from Tang China to return to Japan in 806, he is said to have thrown a tree-pointed vajra, which is a Shingon Buddhist ritual item.  He threw it toward Japan from the port of Mingzhou with the wish of finding a place appropriate for establishing Shinbone Buddhism in Japan. After returning to Japan he searched for the vajra he had thrown, and found it lodged in this pine tree. He then founded Kōyasan as a place for the study of Shinbone Buddhism. Ever since this pine tree has been called the “Sanko no Matsu”, or “Trident Vajra Pine Tree”. It is popular associated with faith in Kōbō-Daishi.
Pine needles usually come in clusters ranging from two to five needles, but the needles of this tree are in clusters of three, like the trident vajra it is named after. #DanjoGaran, #壇上伽藍, #Kōyasan, #高野山, #Japan
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Welcome to Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips, where you will be able to see a traditional and ancient part of Kyoto and Nara that not many travel guides offer.
Introduction
Welcome to Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips, where you will be able to see a traditional and ancient part of Kyoto and Nara that not many travel guides offer. This is a community to share your experiences in Japan and to learn more about this often elusive culture. Here you will find information on popular tourist sites of Nara and Kyoto and also the not-so-popular sites which are often equally rewarding. You can also find information posted on the wall about famous Japanese peoples' birthdays, famous historical events, and different odd and widely unknown traditions. Discover a side of Japan which you never knew existed, here at Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips!

I was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and enjoyed my teenage years during the peak of the "Flower Power Hippie" generation. I hitchhiked through Europe, living on a beach south of Agadir, Morocco for some time to learn English.  For most of my adult life, I was a public relations representative for a Christian NGO in the Benelux area. Aside from Japan, I have lived in Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Singapore, just to name a few. I love baking things such as bread, pies, and fruit cakes, and am an avid Blues lover; some of my favorite artists are B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I  enjoy a good movie with a glass of wine or a Belgian Trappist and some Rochefort blue cheese.
 Since September 2012 I have been an honorary member of the " Kyoto Guide Club". I have been living in Japan for almost 25 years; 5 years in Tokyo, and then 20 years here, in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. My aim is to provide information about this extraordinary city to the future traveler. If you have any questions related to Kyoto or Nara, don't hesitate to drop me a line. If you want the ultimate experience, let me drive you around Kyoto, so you can have a safe, exciting journey, and get the most out of your vacation here.

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