“Yama Hoko Junko”
As for the biggest “Yama Hoko” float used by the Gion festival; the weight is 12 tons, the height to a float head is 25 meters, the wheel is 2 meters in diameter, the area of the musical accompaniments floor is with 6 tatamis(12 yd²).
For “Hoko” float such as “Naginata Hoko.” about 50 people pull. And for “Yama” float, about 20 people carry so that they can shoulder the float to turn the direction at the crossroad or to perform to audience along the street.
But as the “Hoko” float turning, its wheel is only going straight possible. Therefore, at the crossing, the bamboo called “Sasara” is spread under the wheels, and the top of the bamboo is watered to make them slippery. Then float is pulled to turn like picture below.
This way of turning float is called “Tsuji-Mawashi” and famous as the highlight scene of “Yama Hoko Junko”. With the rumbling sound of wheels, the creak of the bamboo, the musical accompaniment and the shout, “Hoko” float is loudly pulled and turns slowly.
The float going a narrow street is spectacular.