While we plan to run a full photo essay later in the week, for those of you looking to get lucky, Asakusa is the place to be. The Sanja Matsuri ranks as one of the greatest festivals in all of Japan. What is it? This is one of those times we will let the JNTO spell it out for you.
“The Sanja Matsuri, a symbolic festival of Tokyo, is one of the largest festivals of mikoshi (portable shrines) held in Asakusa, which is a quarter where you can still find traditional houses and streets. Every year, hundreds of thousands of spectators visit Asakusa during the three festival days. With amazing vigor, men carry several dozens of portable shrines on their shoulders. There are also portable shrines carried by women only, and by children only. The most exciting moments are when the portable shrines are jolted vehemently, for this jolting is believed to intensify the power of the deities mounted on the portable shrines. On the Saturday around noon, small and large portable shrines gather at Asakusa Shrine, and then set off to parade through the town streets. On the Sunday, three especially large-sized portable shrines join the parade. These huge portable shrines depart from Asakusa Shrine early in the morning at 6 o’clock, and return around 8 o’clock at night.” from the Japan National Tourism Organization.