Sanja Matsuri

Sanja Matsuri, one of the three biggest festivals in Japan, is celebrated at Asakusa Tokyo’s Sensouji Temple on the third weekend in May to honor the three men who established and founded Sensouji Temple.

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Over that Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a number of events including singing and dancing are held, however, the main part of the festival is the parades. During the parades, three large mikoshi (portable shrines –  the three large ones are said to carry the spirits of the three men who founded Sensouji)), and over 100 small mikoshi are paraded around the streets of Asakusa, and right down Nakamise street.


One of the small mikoshi being paraded down Nakamise Street


One of the three large mikoshi in front of Sensouji


One of the children’s mikoshi. There are also mikoshi that are carried only by women.

Many geisha and other performers take part in the festival as well.

Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo.

Geisha – women trained to entertain men with traditional song and dance

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Dancers dressed as herons

Being that it is a Japanese festival, there is also plenty of drinking and partying to go along with the festival. All of the teams carrying the mikoshi have various garages, tents, and store fronts set up around the town that they use as meeting and partying places. It is truly like stepping back in time walking through the streets and seeing the majority of the people in traditional dress, laughing and partying while eating and drinking traditional food.

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