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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Talking Fukagawa Matsuri

    Today, Sun 18 August, is the Fukagawa matsuri (festival) in central Tokyo. It's one of the Big three in Tokyo along with the Sanja Matsuri (Asakusa, in May) and the Kanda Matsuri.

    The Mikoshi (portable shinto shrines) will be carried on Eitai Dori (road 1 in Tokyo, stretching East-West from the Imperial Palace Eastern gardens in Otemachi towards Chiba, along which the Tozai-line has been built) during all the day.
    There will be no less than 50 of them starting from Shinkawa in Chuo-ku (near Kayabacho station) to Toyocho in Koto-ku. As it is very hot in mid-summer, spectators throw full buckets of water on the sweating mikoshi carriers. Some take a fire-engine water hose for better effect.

    The heart of the Fukagawa district is between Monzennakacho and Kiba station (Tozai-line). The largest mikoshi being too heavy to be carried (it weighs no less than 2 tonnes, the heaviest in Tokyo !), it rests on display at the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine.

    One good thing with this festival is that foreigners are allowed (and encouraged) to participate. It is better though if you could buy or rent some matsuri clothes ; you'll need tabi (special shoes), a happi or hanten (kind of open shirt with the name of the district you support in kanji) and a obi (cotton belt). You can choose between shorts (sometimes, really short)or special matsuri "trousers".

    You can visit the Tomioka Hachimangu all the year, the 2 main mikoshi will always be on display. This shrine was built in 1627 and is one of the little known jewels of Tokyo, rivalling famous names like the Yasukni Jinja or the Meiji Jingu.

    You can learn more here about Fukagawa during the Edo period or the Tomioka Hachimangu and other temples in the area.

    Go-matsuri !
    Last edited by Maciamo; Aug 18, 2002 at 11:54.

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