A Shinto priest performs a ritual during the Aoi Festival at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto, Japan, 15 May 2020. Aoi Festival, one of Kyoto’s three main festivals, was conducted but was largely scaled down without any spectators due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The 1400-year-old harvest festival has the purpose of beating the epidemic, the organizer said. Kyoto is one of the prefectures that remain in a state of emergency the government imposed in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 disease.
Japan, on 14 May 2020, lifted the measure in most parts of the country.