Kanda Festival

The Kanda matsuri was held in Tokyo on Sunday for the first time in four years. The main festival is held every odd numbered year but was not held in 2011 due to the earthquake that year so this year it made a welcome return. It is one of three the largest festivals in Japan and on the Sunday locals carry mikoshi, portable shrines, through the streets around the Kanda Myoujin Shrine.

Keeping a stern eye on things:

Kanda Matsuri 1

Getting things ready:

Kanda Matsuri 3

It’s all a bit much for some:

Kanda Matsuri 2

Some of the mikoshi are quite lavish:

Kanda Matsuri 6

Some are pulled on carts:

Kanda Matsuri 4

But most are hoisted onto shoulders:

Kanda Matsuri 8

Happi coat:

Kanda Matsuri 7

For young and old:

Kanda Matsuri 9

All the mikoshi go through the main shrine:

Kanda Matsuri 10

And are paraded in front of the main hall:

Kanda Matsuri 14

Kanda Matsuri 13

To receive a blessing:

Kanda Matsuri 12

Enjoying the show:

Kanda Matsuri 11

The mikoshi are then taken out to their local areas:

Kanda Matsuri 15

 

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Kanda Shrine

Kanda Shrine in Chiyoda-ku close to the electronics district of Akihabara is a shrine, first established in 730 AD, dedicated to two gods of fortune and a Heian period samurai by the name of Taira no Masakado who rebelled against the government and lost his head in the year 940 thus earning the respect of ordinary citizens ever since.

The main gate, Zuishin-mon, reconstructed in 1995:

The main shrine was rebuilt in 1934 after the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 that levelled much of the city: