The big floats that parade through the town at the Narita Gion Festival are a sight to behold

Narita Gion Festival
Narita Gion Festival
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I had never seen the event before and had no particular attachment to it. However, when I heard that it would be held for the first time in three years, my heart soared and I set out for Narita in Chiba Prefecture. Narita is home to Narita Airport. The Narita Gion Festival, which had been canceled since the COVID-19 pandemic, was to be held this year.

When I think of the Gion Festival, the first thing that comes to mind is the festival at Yasaka Jinja Shrine in Kyoto. One would think that the Narita Gion Festival, like the Gion Festival at Yasaka Shrine, would be somehow related to the Gion Festival because of the large floats that parade through the town, but that is not the case. The reason the Yasaka Jinja Shrine festival is called the Gion Festival is that the Yasaka Shrine was once called the Gion Shrine. In contrast, the Narita Gion Festival is called the Gion Festival because it is held during the Naritasan Gion-e, a religious event of the Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple.

To begin with, "Gion" refers to the Jetavana (Gion Shoja in Japanese). It refers to a Buddhist monastery in the Shravasti district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Nowadays, the location has been identified and it becomes a historical park. The park is said to have an incense hall and a stupa, where the Buddha is said to have preached. However, few Japanese people think of India when they hear the word "Gion." Perhaps it is because the beginning of the Tale of the Heike, "The sound of the bells of Gion Shoja echoes the impermanence of all things," is recited in a poem.

Although the Tale of the Heike recites the sound of the bell of Gion Shoja, there was no bell in the real Gion Shoja. The bell is said to have originated in China and was not found in India.

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PHOTO DATA

No

12385

Shooting Date

Jul 2022

Posted On

October 10, 2022

Modified On

October 11, 2022

Place

Narita, Chiba

Genre

Street Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

EF135MM F2L USM

Where is Narita?

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