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Sanja Matsuri Festival: 15 - 17 of May, 2010

Tokyo, Japan

Sanja Matsuri is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo, along with the Kanda Matsuri and Sanno Matsuri. Without a doubt the main attraction of this festival is the powerful performance of the portable shrines. Why it is worth taking a look at it? Because it is considered to be one of the wildest and largest. The atmosphere around Tokyo during the festival is dynamic and energetic. Over a million people visit this festival every year. The festival will be taking place from the 15th to 17th of May, 2010.

Like most of Japanese festivals, Sanja Matsuri was born as a religious celebration. It is a weekend-long Shinto festival that is dedicated to the spirits of three men. It is believed that two fishermen—brothers found a statuette of the Bodhisattva Kannon caught in a fishing net in the Sumida River. The third man, a wealthy landlord, heard about this unique discovery, approached the brothers and converted them to Buddhism. The three of men then devoted their lives to the Buddhist faith and consecrated the statue in a small temple. This temple is currently known as the oldest temple in Tokyo.

The festival basically is revolving around three Asakusa Shrine-owned mikoshi that appear on the third and final day of the festival. These three elaborate, black lacquered-wood shrines are built to act as miniature, portable versions of Asakusa Shrine. The sculptures are valuable not only in religious terms. They are decorated with gold and painted with gold leaf. Approximately 40 people dispersed evenly to safely carry them. In addition, many small food stands and shops are build to serve the needs of the guest for the entire weekend. Other spectacles that draw crowds are the Geisha and taiko performances.

Tokyo is a particular city. It is usually referred as a jungle due to its population and crowded streets. At the same time, it is a marvelous mix of modern living and old-fashioned manners, slick high-tech gadgets and cartoon mascots. Sanja Matsuri is a marvelous festival, urban spectacle and unique peculiarities of Tokyo to observe. Come to Tokyo to experience these old traditions which are still very much prevalent in this part of the world. Dive into Asian entertainment.

City: Tokyo
Country: Japan
By: Tokyo Hostels
Published on 08-Apr-2010
Section City Live
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