Well, here it is… the lowdown on Sanja Matsuri 2008! Even though I had heard that this is one of the largest festivals in Tokyo and that so many people visit it luckily wasn’t as chaotic as I was expecting it to be! I thoroughly enjoyed the festival and although it was crowded in some areas it wasn’t too bad. I believe the main reason for holding the Sanja Matsuri is to pay respect to the men who founded Sensoji Temple. If you would like to read up on my previous escapade in Asakusa you can find the article here:
Spending a day in Asakusa
The main attraction of the Sanja Matsuri is the parade of mikoshi (small shrines) which the locals of Asakusa help to carry around the streets. I’ve heard these mikoshi cost an arm and a leg and quite obviously weigh a lot also, you can tell just from looking at the pictures and the videos that it’s a very exhausting job carrying them around for so long!! Whilst the parade is taking place there is also live music and the sound of the flute and drums can be heard constantly in the backstreets of and down the main road in the town. I was also a little bit surprised to see some people in the parade dressed in traditional Japanese attire of feudal Japan, I’m not sure if the women at the front were geisha because they weren’t wearing normal kimono that standard geisha and maiko wear. I’m going to have to find out what type of people they were dressed as…. well they looked pretty damn cool anyway if ya ask me!!
Just like yesterday there was some impressive taiko drumming on show also. I’m pretty surprised that taiko seems to be popular amongst girls these days! In the afternoon I also saw some children (with some help from adults) carrying around miniature mikoshi!
There was probably more to see but I was quite exhausted so I decided to head home early. At the festival you can also see traditional performances by geisha but you have to buy tickets in advance and I guess they sell out quite quickly. Enjoy the pictures and video!
Apologies again for the bad video quality, I need to figure out what’s going wrong when I upload the videos! Anyway, try to enjoy 😛