Sanno Matsuri   山王祭

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The Sanno Matsuri is one of the most remarkable festival in Tokyo. Please note that the festival only takes place every even year.

Sanno Matsuri is one of the most remarkable festivals in Tokyo. The festival only takes place every even-numbered year.

On the streets of Tokyo, the mikoshi (portable shrines housing the kami, spirits) strolled in the Sanno Matsuri.

On the streets of Tokyo, the mikoshi (portable shrines housing the kami, spirits) strolled in the Sanno Matsuri.

Purify body and mind

You need to carefully choose the date of your visit to be able to attend the Sanno Matsuri. Celebrated only in even years, the festival honors the Shinto deities that protect Tokyo. It is considered one of the three most outstanding of Japan, along with Sanja Matsuri and Kanda Matsuri.

The contrast is striking. In the streets of the capital, two worlds meet without seeing each other. On one hand, the Processionaries, dressed in flamboyant colors, slowly escort the mikoshi, the portable shrines that house the kami (spirits present in nature). On the other, motorists roaring their engines without moving. Formerly huge, the Sanno Matsuri parade is now reduced so as not to impede the traffic of the frenetic metropolis.


6 months of redemption


It is at Hie-jinja, the shrine to which it is linked, that the festival takes its interest. Presentations of ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, fill the air. Stalls offering various tastings pop up all over the park. Time stands still.

At the heart of the garden stands an imposing rounded arch made ​​of woven straw. Go through this gateway, holding close to you the doll entrusted to you. It soaks up your unintentional wrongdoings of the preceding six months and frees you of them. A cup of green tea and you will have your body and mind purified!

The Sanno Matsuri procession, video JapanTimes.

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