Sanja Matsuri, a traditional festival that enlivens Asakusa.

The festival is held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, starting on the third Saturday of May, mainly in the 44 towns that are Ujiko of Asakusa Shrine. It is one of the representative festivals in Japan, attracting approximately 1,800,000 people over the three days, mainly for the parade of portable shrines, which is both heroic and spectacular while retaining the Edo atmosphere. It is said to be the most lively festival of the year in Asakusa, a downtown area that still retains the atmosphere of Edo (old Tokyo), and is one of the most representative events of early summer in Tokyo.

On the first day, a “grand procession” consisting of musical floats, tobigashi-yatai, Asakusa dances, geiko dance troupes, and other dancers announces the beginning of the festival in Asakusa, and the “ritual Binzasara Dance,” designated as an intangible cultural property by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, is dedicated. On the second day, the “Rei-taisai Ceremony” is held, followed by the “Rengo-Togyo (joint procession of portable shrines),” in which about 100 portable shrines from 44 Asakusa Ujiko towns gather on the shrine grounds, each of which is purified before being carried by each town council.

On the final day, three miyamikoshis, Ichinomiya, Ninomiya, and Sannomiya, are carried out from the shrine grounds in the early morning, and during the day, the miyamikoshis are divided into three groups, and return to the shrine grounds at sunset for the “miyairi,” the final stage of the festival. During the festival, the town of Asakusa is decorated with the colors of the festival, and various Shinto rituals are performed at the shrine, and various dances are performed on the shrine grounds and in the Kaguraden.

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One response to “Sanja Matsuri, a traditional festival that enlivens Asakusa.”

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    Sanja Matsuri is one of the most famous festivals in Japan! The town of Asakusa is filled with people and tremendous energy.

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