Amongst the throngs of people who had descended on Kyoto for the Gion festival, we stayed in a traditional ryokan for the first time, visited the Iwaytayama monkey park in Arashiyama and even made it to the Manga museum. Tourists and locals alike had made their way to Kyoto for the Gion Matsuri festival, Japan's most famous, comprised of 32 floats some weighing up to 10 tons. The festival is said to protect Kyoto from bad spirits.