MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Tokyo’s Sanja Matsuri Festival and the 1st Day Traditional Costume Parade

Sanja Matsuri (literally "Three Shrine Festival"), or Sanja Festival, is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo. It is considered one of the wildest and largest, attracting around 1.5 to 2 million spectators.

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We arrived early enough on the first day to catch the parade up the Nakamise-dori shopping arcade, though this didn't begin until after 2pm.

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Parade at 2pm

Our research included using Wikipedia's entry on the Sanja Matsuri and this listed a useful timetable for the festival's events, with the only inaccuracy we found being that the parade is listed as beginning at 1pm and not 2pm (understandable since delays or changes in schedule are a fact of life). The parade is also described as being quite large, but it's nothing like the scale of London's Notting Hill Carnival, for example.

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At the time of the parade, we had already been exploring Asakusa for more than an hour and found ourselves near Senso-ji, which is at the top of the Nakamise-dori shopping arcade, when the parade began.

Sanja Matsuri Parade photos

The parade itself included a traditional float carrying a team of musicians, but apart from that, seemed fairly discreet (considering all the noise already happening in Nakamise-dori!), consisting of groups of traditionally (and sometimes curiously) dressed Japanese making their way up Nakamise-dori, to the side of Senso-ji and towards the Asakusa-jinja (Asakusa Temple).

I was purely interested in capturing the traditional costumes, so I was happy. Check out the selected photos below for the Sanja Matsuri parade.

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More photos of the Sanja Matsuri Parade on Flickr

Information on the Sanja Matsuri on Wikipedia


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

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