Photo gallery: Tokyo Jidai Matsuri

Asakusa’s parade crams 1,200 years of history into one afternoon

Photo gallery: Tokyo Jidai Matsuri

Photo gallery: Tokyo Jidai Matsuri
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This hasn't been a vintage year for Asakusa. Traditionally home to some of Tokyo's liveliest festivals, the shitamachi neighbourhood lost its two most iconic events in the wake of March 11: first May's Sanja Matsuri was cancelled 'out of respect', then the late-August Samba Carnival was axed due to a timetable clash with the rescheduled Sumidagawa Fireworks. In the absence of other viable contenders, it was left to the Jidai Matsuri – held on the November 3 Culture Day national holiday each year – to bring some flair to the area's streets. Born in 1989, at the beginning of the present Heisei Era, the event charts the course of Tokyo's history in a procession of period costumes that run from the 7th century up to the Meiji Restoration of the 1860s. Samurai, courtiers and geisha vied for attention in the course of a slow-motion carnival that provided ample fodder for photographers but was seldom more than mildly diverting – a mere Disneyland parade compared to the frenzy of Asakusa’s best-loved festivals. But hey: the Sanja Matsuri will be back next year, right?

Photo by James Hadfield
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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