Ets and I have always wanted to see the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto even though we knew that, being one of the most popular festivals in Japan, it would be crowded beyond belief. Truth be told, several things were in play that made it fairly difficult to leave the comfort of home and make the journey to Kyoto.
I've already mentioned how crowded it would be. A second deterrent was that it would be 33 degrees (which would feel much higher in the blistering sun). The last was that we would have to be there by 9 which meant that we would have to catch the 7.36 train.
Well, we pulled out all the stops and made it on time to secure a reasonably good spot. True enough, the heat was ridiculous (Mum, remember Kyoto in summer?) and we reached our limit after seeing 3 large mikoshi (portable wooden shrines), went for lunch, and then started our way back home at the embarrassingly early hour of 1.30p.m.
Nevertheless, that's another thing we can cross off our list.