About 500 people wearing ancient costumes and hollyhocks paraded through the streets of Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto. The procession is part of a traditional festival that attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Aoi Matsuri or the Hollyhock Festival is one of 3 main annual festivals held in Kyoto. It dates back to about 1,400 years ago when Emperor Kinmei ordered a horse race through the streets of the capital to pray for a bountiful harvest.
On Monday, participants followed the ancient route from the Imperial Palace to Kamigamo-jinja Shrine.
Sayo Tomita, a 19-year-old student from Doshisha University in Kyoto was chosen to play the special role of Imperial princess.
Many spectators were seen taking snapshots of the princess wearing ceremonial kimono of the Imperial court.
Source: NHK Image: Japan Guide