MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Asakusa Mikoshi Shrines Carrying - Sights to behold!

On the second day of the three day Sanja Matsuri festival, Linh and I returned to Asakusa specifically to witness the mikoshi carrying. About one hundred mikoshi (portable shinto shrines) from forty four districts of Asakusa were taken on an energetic tour of the town! The shrines don't appear to be particularly light, so on that basis, the spectacle was bound to not disappoint.

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We were engrossed in more of the Nakamise-dori shopping arcade, when the chanting sounds of the first mikoshi carriers made their way to us. Teams of carriers, both male and female were stationed under the support beams of the mikoshi as they bumped and bellowed their way down Nakamise-dori, from around the side of the Senso Temple.

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It was a pretty awesome sight to see the grunting teams working in unison to make progress, often changing carriers around to allow for rest periods. Each district also seemed to have their own costume colours, which only added to the spectacle.

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As the mikoshi made their way forwards, they were always proceded by someone holding up a wooden mast like this fella below.

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Children were also present either, alongside or strapped to their parents.

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In several cases, children were even sporting their very own pint-sized mikoshi under gentle supervision from watching adults.

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We also watched as this short float bearing a team of drummers and a leading woman made their way through the crowds, stopping every now and then (for photo oppportunities whether intentional or not).

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With around one hundred mikoshi, I can't honestly say whether we saw them all, but we witnessed a fair few before we felt it was time to move on.

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Between the repeated routines, I found time to observe a few details such as this belt accessory and the tabi shoes of this guy.

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The Sanja Matsuri takes place over three days but Linh and I only returned to Asakusa for two days, specifically for the first day parade and the second day mikoshi tour.

On the third day, there are apparently more prominent parades revolving around three main mikoshi from the Asakusa Shrine. You can see them on display in the video below:



In all, the Sanja Matsuri festival encompasses traditional music and dancing, including performances from Geisha and Taiko drummers.

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More photos of the Sanja Matsuri Mikoshi carrying on Flickr


This entry posted in : Attractions. Culture. Events. Japan. Tourism.

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