preparing for Gion Matsuri

Tonight as I was leaving work to get a bus back home, I heard the tell-tale sign of festival music.  The Gion festival is still over a month away, but people are already practicing the traditional flute and cymbal music.  From now until mid-July, the Shijo-Karasuma intersection will be filled with this music.  I can’t explain why, but it definitely seems to lighten the heaviness of Kyoto’s summer heat.