One of the most vanticipated event of my fourth trip to Japan was the Jidai Matsuri, one of the three main festival of Kyoto, dedicated to the celebration of its culture and history.
I was relieved when I got to know that the parade was going to be performed even in case of rain, as the weather was really terrible.

The "Festival of Ages" is a matsuri about which the locals feel very strongly: the first edition dated 1895 and it was an answer to the relocation of the Imperial family and the governing officials to Tokyo in 1868.
Originally it was just a procession where the mikoshi of Emperor Kammu (and later Emperor Komei too) was showed off along the streets in an ideal march from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu, but later with the years other important important figures of historical relevance were added to the parade, spanning from the Meiji era (before the Capital was moved to Tokyo) to the Heian period (when the Capital was moved to Kyoto).

In the morning, walking Karasuma street to reach for my Nobu places, I got to notice these guys getting ready for the parade:
I don't know if it was an University or so, but it was really cool to see how the locals were so strictly involved with the festival ^^

During my visit to Honnoji I noticed the special area dedicated to the paying spectators across Oike street, so I decided to sit around there too.
The Teramachi street where Honnoji is located faces the street, so I sat down close to it, with the hope to take a shot of Nobunaga passing in front of it :D !
I got to Oike street quite early, around 1200... I was a bit worried as the area in front of me was still being allested..
I got to understand that that spot was reserved to the students of the Elementary Schools of Kyoto-- Look at the dutiful teacher coming early to eat his bento undisturbed get hold of a nice spot XD
It was fun looking at the brats and trying to understand the dynamics of the classrooms... Unfortunately in front of me was a girl who was blatantly in love with her teacher (shojo manga mood on!), so she kept doing whatever he did! The bastard was standing up right in front of me, so the kid did the same, covering my view >o< !!
You have to idea how much I hated these two--

Anyway, the parade finally reached our spot-- Opening it were the "authortities" of Kyoto city, all dressed up as Meiji governing officers XD

Then it was finally the turn of the historical costumes and characters!!

Unfortunately I didn't get to get hold of a pamphlet with the descriptions of all the historical persons and costumes, as they were reserved to those who paid for a seat, so it's going to be an incomplete report.
At the same time, despite being Nobunaga-related, I'm also showing you some pictures of the other characters and ages, at least those who caught my attention--

So, let's start with this commander of the Yamaguni Army!
I took a picture 'cause he made me remember about Fuyu no Semi-- ERR∼

Let's skip to the Edo period--
This is Okuni, the originator of kabuki theater, with some fellow actresses.
I was in love with their costumes!

And let's get to our Sengoku period :DD
The audience was pretty much in awe when Nobunaga's flags appeared in the midst of the rain XD

--And finally it was Nobunaga's time!! KYAAAAH!

--Unfortunately no picture with the Teramachi in the back XD

A close-up of Nobu:

Next followed the main retainers of Nobunaga-- Unfortunately I could take pictures only of a few, as it wasn't always possible to take good pictures with all the people around--

There are, in order, Takigawa Katsumasu and Shibata Katsuie.

Next followed the stand-in with the clothes of each class of the era.
It was really interesting!
Here are the archer and the lady:

Next is the lady in travelling clothes and a warrior in hunting clothes:

Let's skip to the Heian period, 'cause I'm very proud of this shot of Tomoe-gozen:
as one of the most influent warrior-ladies, she's very loved by the people of Kyoto!

It's a period filled with amazing women...
These courtladies are Sei Shonagon and Murasaki Shikibu, two of the most popular authors and poets of the Japanese literature.

More amazing costumes:

--The climax of the parade is the appearance of the mikoshi bring the spirits of the Emperors Kammu and Komei:

The "Women from Shirakawa" were women who grew and sold flowers at the feet of Mount Hiei:
They used to present their flowers to the Imperial Court as gifts during the Heian period.

Taking part to this event was a great emotion, and the only sad notes were the not-so-suggestive location and the weather, but I was grateful to attend this event, and sure the show was amazing :D