Cheerleaders and Cosplayers at Heian Shrine, Kyoto
I've been in Kyoto the past few days because I was invited to screen my short films and give a talk at Kyoto University on the 6th of September.
The following day, I decided to explore Kyoto. (my last visit in Kyoto was December 31, 2008, and chronicled on this epic video, that's a lifetime ago) My first thought was to go to the Philosopher's Path and the legendary Ginkaku-ji for a leisurely stroll. My last visit there was in 1999-2000, my memories of that place were entirely hazy.
After lunch, I hopped onto a bus, heading towards my intended destination.
However, when I passed by Heian Shrine 平安神宮, a few things caught my eye:
1) The National Museum of Modern Arts, Kyoto, was nearby. And it was having a film-related exhibition!
2) There was a red carpet in front of Heian Shrine. And cheerleaders.
(1) and (2) made me get out of the bus to see what was going on.
Apparently there were some events. A food/drinks fair was happening, there were also cheerleaders and a brass band on the red carpet in front of the shrine, apparently spreading messages of love and happiness.
After that, the many mascots of Kyoto appeared.
I walked towards the Heian Shrine.
... and then I saw cosplayers.
Or rather, tourists taking photos with cosplayers.
"What's going on?" My mind screamed.
(After some research later, I found out that the Kyoto Manga Anime Festival and its connected cosplay event, GO-TAN! was happening nearby.)
I wasn't expecting to see cheerleaders and cosplayers at a shrine.
I then thought to resume my journey to Ginkakuji, but it started to rain...
So I went to seek shelter at the nearby National Museum of Modern Arts, Kyoto. I looked at the poster that was promoting its current exhibition:
"Reading Cinema, Finding Words: Art after Marcel Broodthaers".
Intrigued. I bought a ticket and entered the museum...