Hinokiyama Matsuri in Mizuho
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Mizuho is a rural township about 1.5 hours from Kyoto city, and consists of five villages. For this fall harvest matusri (festival) each village organizes a team to carry the village mikoshi (portable shrine); I joined a team along with Mizuho's English teacher Brooke Paul and our friends Erik and KayJay. In an afternoon-long parade of sorts, the teams transport the five mikoshi from village to village, accompanied by a Shinto priest who makes prayers for the prosperity of the community. At each village the teams are also treated to a short party of food and drink --lots of drink-- and the traveling festival thus becomes increasingly festive and dissheveled...

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