Akasaka Hikawajinja Festival – First Night
Last night was the first of the three days of the large Hikawajinja Matsuri, or festival, in Tokyo’s posh downtown Akasaka district. On the first night there is only one omikoshi preceded by only one dashi, large wooden wagon ceremonial platforms. These dashi are supremely heavy and it takes a lot of people to maneuver them and pull them even on level ground. In Akasaka there are a few steeper streets where the wagon has to be let down very gently not to careen down the street out of control! Indeed even the name Akasaka means red-slope! I wonder if the slopes of Akasaka has influenced the route the of the festival procession? The dashi is controlled by two ropes and the way they are pulled influences the way the wagon moves. Not an easy task (as you can see in the last photo)! More photos from this festival to come!