Tomioka Hachimangu Water Festival – 1
In Tokyo’s Monzennakacho (門前仲町) district one of the city’s most famous water festival take place every year, organized by the Tomioka Hachimangu (富岡八幡宮). In mid summer teams from all over the area surrounding the great shrine gets hosed down in what can only be described as ritualized water warfare. In the good old days locals would prepare river water to meet the omikoshi carriers on their way to the great shrine, but these days they have support in the form of several teams of firefighters with industrial strength water pumps and great big hoses. This is a huge festival for locals and it spans over several days with the main water even taking place on the Sunday but many local water battles in the days before that as well. This year’s festival was even bigger than usual because of a “surprise” visit by the Emperor himself! Unfortunately, by the time he got there my camera had already shorted from the copious “washings” I got from the people on the mobile swimming pools at the sides of the streets leading up to the great shrine. I took lots of fun photos before that however, and I’ll be dividing them among four posts all in all. Here’s the first one. Enjoy!