Tokyobling's Blog

This Weekend: Sanja Matsuri

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on May 15, 2015

This weekend is the main two days of festivities in the massive Sanja Matsuri, the biggest festival in Tokyo in almost all aspects imaginable. Over a hundred omikoshi (portable shrines) make the rounds of the district and the shrines and temples, and hundreds of thousands of people gather to watch. Easily the high point of the year for all festival lovers here in Tokyo! I took these photos of the festival in 2014. I hope the weather stays as good this year!

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Sensoji Temple at Night – Asakusa

Posted in Places by tokyobling on January 8, 2015

A few years ago when the world famous Sensoji temple in Tokyo got a major face lift the the site became the undisputed tourist mecca of Japan, rivaled perhaps only by the Shibuya street crossing. Still, at least in my eyes the grand Asakusa temple wins in my book. Most tourists flock there during the day to enjoy the shops, souvenirs, eateries and throngs of people. Personally I much prefer the temple well after closing time, after the crowds are gone and the temple structures are bathed in a wonderfully warm red light. When I guide friends and relatives around Tokyo I always make sure to include a last stop at the Sensoji, before heading back home.

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More Hagoita Market – Sensoji

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on December 23, 2014

My visit last Friday on the last half hour of the last day of this years Hagoita market gave me a few more photos I would like to share. These hagoita they sell are just so lovely, and all hand assembled (so no two should be perfectly identical) by different traditional merchants. Some day I would like to live in such a way that having one of these on my home shrine would be completely natural.

Sensoji temple is one of (if not the most) most popular tourists attractions in Japan and as such it is constantly crowded with huge crowds of people. I actually prefer to visit late, as late as possible to see the gorgeously lit up temple grounds with fewer people to distract me. On this cold December evening it was around nine in the evening but still plenty of people around!

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Hagoita Market – Sensoji Temple

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on December 22, 2014

Last week saw the three day annual Hagoita Market at Tokyo’s famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. I was late this year, only arriving at the last half hour of the last of the three days, very few people and a lot of the items already gone, a little bit different from the last time I visited back in 2012. The Hagoita a flat “rackets” or boards used to play a traditional game during the New Year’s season. Over time the haogita rackets got more and more decorated and these days you can see some giant ones absolutely not suitable for playing with. There are also a few stands selling the more traditional flat and simple boards along with the feathered balls that go with them. Although too late for this year, if you are in Tokyo in December next year pleas go have a look! More photos to come!

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