Photo gallery: Sanja Matsuri

It’s 700 years and counting for one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals

Photo gallery: Sanja Matsuri

Asakusa had to make do without its biggest and most boisterous festival last year. Coming just a couple of months after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the Sanja Matsuri felt like too much fun, too soon, and officials took the prude – if unfortunate – decision to call it off. Things were back to normal this year, just in time for the 700th anniversary of the event, and over 1.8 million people flocked to the area in the course of the three days. Time Out headed to Asakusa for the final afternoon of the festival, when three large mikoshi (portable shrines) are shuttled through the streets of the surrounding neighbourhoods, with locals (and their pals) taking turns to carry them. Gone are the days when scantily clad yakuza rode atop these vessels – officials went so far as to ban coats displaying gang names this year – but you could still see some impressive full-body tattoos if you knew where to look. Which, of course, we did...

Photo gallery: Sanja Matsuri
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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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