Simon, his girlfriend Leigh, Jean, and I.


And here they are, about to hoist it into the shrine amid a huge crowd of people.

Here's a closer look at it, from the side.

The guys are trying to hold it up and dance at the same time. Craaaazy.

The big event, the o-mikoshi!

You can kind of see the tents below. It's weird how at eye level there was crowding and other weird stuff going on, but then there was this calm blue sky above it all.

Before sunset, on the shrine grounds.

One of our orders at Apricot, a hole-in-the-wall bakery dealing in handmade cakes and tarts in the arcade. I think I'll have to come back here. I picked up a walnut tart too, and it was real good.

And then there was this. Jean and I came upon it when we were in the shopping arcade.

They did this all the way up to the shrine. It took me a while to figure out they were conch shells too.

These guys were blowing on conch shells every so often.

I think that's a Noh mask on the guy playing the woman?

A better look at the costumes. That's a guy on the far right, if you couldn't tell from the first picture.

Sakaki tree, going up to the shrine.

Part of another procession, walking out of the shopping arcade.

Part of the festival procession on Sunday. That horse reared back and whinnied before crossing our block.

Sunday, Benzaiten Bridge, over the Uji River. Her symbols are a biwa (Japanese mandolin) and a snake.

Hanagasa parade, Saturday. Every now and then the guys stop by and jump up and down with those things. It was pretty fun to watch.

Uji River, late afternoon.