Tokyobling's Blog

Kanda Matsuri Beauties

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on June 10, 2015

Last months Kanda Matsuri was more spectacular than ever – it was the 400th anniversary of the Shrine’s founding, and the parades were longer and more varied than usual. On the first of the big parade days, the Shinkosai, I spotted these beauties, temple maidens. The girls are wearing the Ichimegaza, 市女笠, costumes.

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More Kanda Matsuri Shinkousai

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People by tokyobling on May 13, 2015

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!

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Kanda Matsuri 400 Years

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on May 12, 2015

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!

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History Festivals

Posted in Animals, People by tokyobling on October 25, 2014

Not all festivals in and around Tokyo are traditional religious or spiritual, there are also quite a few history festivals that give us a chance to enjoy the old clothes, costumes, arms and armor of the times long gone. Several of these festivals take place around the last weekend of October, throughout Japan, not least being the big parade in Nihonbashi tomorrow morning. I saw these mounted samurai warriors at the Kanda Matsuri a few years ago, just as they were exercising their horses at a local elementary school before the main parade. The rather intense rain was forcing us all to keep out heads down though. If you are in Japan today or tomorrow, I recommend looking around to see if there are any history festivals near you!

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