Yesterday, June 30th, the annual 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 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 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.