The Japan Guide Entry on Gion Matsuri gives details on the Gion Matsuri's festivities.
After the huge crowds of the first night of Gion Matsuri, we went to see the float procession the next morning. We found a decent enough spot away from the huge crowds and thankfully the rain stayed away in the morning. It was fun to see those huge floats (the big ones are called hoko), some with a mast that went way too high up (probably not good during a thunderstorm), and because they are not designed to turn (the wheels are fixed), each 90 degree turn is a huge 10mn enterprise involving bamboo turn (the wheels are fixed), each 90 degree turn is a huge 10mn enterprise involving bamboo turn (the wheels are fixed), each 90 degree turn is a huge 10mn enterprise involving bamboo slats, water, lifting a flats that's way too heavy (over 10 tons), chanting, and entertainment :)
turning this takes a long time, almost like watching paint dry :)
10mn later, we're good :)
oh noes, another one showed up, it'll take a while to turn :)
During the day, we went to see a few things and hide from the oppressing wet heat. We started with Higashi Honganji and Nishi Honganji:
Next, while I didn't have high expectations, I had a quick look at the Kyoto Aquarium because it was indoors and had AC. It was barely worth an hour though.
More interestingly, the kyoto railway museum next door was quite good:
first bullet train
that JR500 shinkansen looks bad ass
I wish we got to use those seats
I found some new orangina flavours I didn't know :)
From there, we went to the Kyoto national museum:
It then time to head back to our room, return our rental bikes and towards Yasaka Shrine for the evening procession of mikoshi:
poor guys, they were sitting under torrential rain
After the festivities, we bought some yummy meat that Jennifer cooked in our rented apartment, and we got an early night due to our next day starting around 05:50 due to long travels.