One of the biggest events of the Kanda Matsuri (Kanda Festival) is the Shinkousai, which is a traditional parade covering over one hundred Tokyo neighborhoods, featuring a parade of priests, gods and shrines half a kilometer long and involving about 1000 people. This year it took place on a Saturday, unfortunately the weather was not perfect but still good enough to keep the parade moving. The parade starts at 0800 and returns to the Kanda Myojin Shrine at 1900. Of course such a long walk requires a bit of stamina from the participants, which explains why most of them are drawn from university athletic clubs, fire fighting departments, judo clubs etc. The costumes and the traditional parade items are something to behold!
This year’s Kanda Matsuri started last week and the peak was this weekend. The Kanda Matsuri is a festival centering on the huge Kanda Myojin in central Tokyo, right between Ochanomizu and Akihabara stations. It is usually a massive festival but since this year was the 400th anniversary so it was larger than ever. I took these photos on the Saturday, in and around the shrine. More photos to come!
If you ever want to try ride the smallest Shinkansen train in the world just head over to the Kitashinagawa Shukumatsuri in autumn every year. I saw these two very happy looking volunteers taking the local kids out for a spin on a train line that must have been at least one hundred meters long, Shinkansen in one end and small steam engine looking train in the other. I felt a little bit weird stepping over the track to avoid the train as it came hurtling towards me at almost 6 km/h, but the siren sounded almost as fierce as on a normal sized train!