Tokyobling's Blog

The Last Tsukiji Shishimatsuri – Entering the Fish Market

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 29, 2015

In June this year we saw the last ever Tsukiji Shishi Festival inside the legendary Tokyo main fish market at Tsukiji (apparently the biggest fish market in the world). The fish market, and its very own patron shrine, Suijinja, was established in 1590 when Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu based himself in the city of Edo and invited fishermen from Osaka to provide food for his castle and court. Originally it was located in the Nihonbashi area but moved to its present location in 1923 after the Great Kanto Earthquake. The fish market was built on newly reclaimed land and finished in 1935. The main Shishimatsuri has been held inside the Fish Market since then, but this was the final as it is moving to a spot near Toyosu, next to Odaiba.

Due to this being the last major festival in the beloved old fish market, the turn out was absolutely massive. Not least the number of men who carried the omikoshi. I had other things to think about than to get good photos; like avoiding being trampled by the crowds! I also got to see the absolutely tiny Suijinja which is the only shrine inside the actual market area. I am not sure but I heard that it is being moved to the new location together with the market.

The fish market itself is a huge wholesale market, where between 60 000 and 65 000 persons come to work every day, so it feels weird to be able to walk around in it like a normal festival. I can imagine it was very emotional for the old timers though!

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6871

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6880

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6895

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6903

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6912

The Last Tsukiji Shishimatsuri

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 28, 2015

Last month I hurried down to the famous Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market, probably found on almost every foreign tourist visiting Tokyo, to see the last Tsukiji Shishimatsuri taking place inside the old Fish Market ground. The fish market is scheduled to close in a few months, ending a decades long history as the main fresh fish market of the Japanese capital. Usually a quite minor festival, this one was a little bit special and it was wonderful to have had the chance to see the gates of the Fish Market open one last time for huge black toothed lion’s head, the priests, and the omikoshi (portable shrine) belonging to the local Jinja. More photos and stories from this festival to come!

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6759

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6729

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6737

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6769

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6771

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6799

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6802

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6812

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6819

tsukiji_shishimatsuri_2015_6826

Enoshima Festival – Into the Ocean

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 23, 2015

The end of the Enoshima Shrine festival that I have been blogging about this week, comes when the Omikoshi is carried down into the ocean by lots of nearly naked men. Usually the omikoshi is taken as deeply as possible into the ocean but on this day there was a typhoon on its way to Japan so the waves were much fiercer than usual: every couple of minutes the level of the ocean would suddenly rise a meter or so, when the waves came through, making it far too dangerous to actually take the omikoshi into deeper water. It looked like the men carrying it were having great fun though, even in the not very deep water!

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8886

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8796

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8696

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8674

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8626

Enoshima Shrine Festival – Through the Town

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 22, 2015

If you have ever been to Enoshima you know that the main street running through the little town is absolutely tiny, not even bicycles make it up it. So it was quite fun to see the big Omikoshi make its way down the stairs, through gates and under torii (the π shaped gates in front of shinto shrines) and finally down the main street, pushing tourists, shoppers and townspeople aside as it passed down towards the ocean. I was lucky enough to know a shortcut in a tiny alley to the side of the main street so I could hurry around the omikoshi and get a few photos of it as it emerged onto the plaza in front of the fist torii. More photos to come!

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8362

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8418

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8487

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8503

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8520

enoshima_matsuri_2015_8560

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,684 other followers

%d bloggers like this: