Sanja Matsuri is one of the Shinto Festivals in Tokyo. The event is held on every 3rd weekend of May. The festival is celebrated for 3 days, on which the major parades are held on the 2nd and 3rd day. The festival is dedicated in memory of the three men who founded the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. The brothers – Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari together with Hajino Nakatomo who knew about the brothers Hamanari and converted them to Buddhism.
The festival is a whole day event from morning to evening. In the afternoon, lines of crowd with a small intricately designed miniature shrines carried by the men and women dressed in traditional Japanese clothes flood the streets of Asakusa.
The festival’s main attractions are the sacred mikoshi. Shinto devotees believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a god in Japan while moving between main shrine and temporary shrine during a festival.
There 100 mikoshi carried by the men, women and children who are participating in the event, around the neighborhood of Asakusa during the Sanja Matsuri festival.
During the festival’s procession the mikoshi are bounced by the carriers along with energetics chants and taiko [Japanese traditional drums] beats. The participants in the event wears the Japanese traditional attire named hanten coats. The act of chanting and bouncing the mikoshi on the shoulders of the participants are believed to give power and glory to the gods (kami) thus providing good luck to the entire district.
And as the sun dims within the day the light in the Asakusa gives the temples and shrines a vibrant warm gold light. It is such a beautiful sight to see and just enjoy the view.
When the evening comes and each of the participants give their best and chants maximum energy as the mikoshi procession draws near to its final destination.