July in Kyoto means the Gion Festival of Yasaka Shrine. Spectacular floats color the neighborhoods once more, and shrine activity reaches a fever pitch. When local people hear the distinctive “konkonchikichin” sounds of festival music, they know the rainy season is ending and it’s time to prepare for the intense summer heat. In honor of Gion Festival’s nickname, the “Conger Eel Festival” (Hamo Matsuri), our course at Kyoto Wakuden features such dishes as hamo sushi and stewed gourd served cold.
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