July 17th is the day of Kyoto's Gion Matsuri, the most important festival in Japan. This year it pours rain, but unlike Jidai Matsuri and Aoi Matsuri--the remaining two of Kyoto's Holy Trinity of Festivals--Gion is never cancelled due to weather.
For weeks leading up to the Festival, Gion's signature "kon-chiki-kon" music is piped into the shopping arcades in downtown Kyoto. In the days just prior to the seventeenth you can hear it all over town.
July 17, 2006.