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Pictures of the 2017 Sanja Festival

I went to see the 2017 Sanja Festival.  It was centered around Sensoji temple and Asakusa shrine.  The event is big, wild, and noisy.  About 2 million people attend its three days.  I went to see its last day, Sunday.  We had perfect weather for it.

supporters carry mikoshi with Tokyo Skytree in rear

I didn’t get there till mid-morning, though.  So I missed the mikoshi (portable shrines) leave for the neighborhood rounds.  That was okay as I still got to see the main action.  And the main action took place on and around the road in front of Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate).  That was where I took most of the day’s pictures.

2017 Sanja Festival mikoshi
Cameras always go to Omikoshi.
mikoshi and crowd at Kaminarimon with Tokyo Skytree in rear

From the pictures, you can see that it is a popular event as people were all over Asakusa and Sensoji Temple.  What more can I say?  It is one of those events that need to be experienced at least once in your life.  Simply speaking, it is tremendous fun.  Many people with a bit of alcohol usually make for a good time, no?

To be honest, the event seems a little dangerous at times.  Those shrines weigh about a ton.  If they were ever dropped, some severe injuries would follow.  Fortunately, I have never heard of that happening.  Each mikoshi has huge groups of supporters clearing the road for them, keeping the crowd back.  These things need a lot of support!

mikoshi and crowd on Kaminarimon-dori
crowded Nakamise street
A very crowded Nakamise-Dori.

Looking back at these photos several years later, I see flaws in them.  There is no story.  At that time, I concentrated on the mikoshi, not the event as a whole.  There are few photos of the temple and the shrine, and they are integral to the Sanja.  People unfamiliar with the event probably couldn’t gain any insight from my shots.

man watching mikoshi

For example, let’s look at the pictures of Tokyo Skytree.  The tower looks great, but it wasn’t a part of the festival.  There was little need for me to take photos of it.  That is okay because now, as I look at and republish these old photos, they are great study.  Sometimes it is a study of things not to do in the future!! 

2017 Sanja Festival mikoshi with supporters
2017 Sanja Festival supporter

Still, I enjoyed the 2017 Sanja Festival.  It was a great day.  The following year’s event was excellent too.  I will post those pictures in a future update.

For more festival articles, look at:

Any questions or comments can be left below.

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  1. Pingback: Hie Shrine – Monkeys, gates, and escalators - Tokyo in Pics

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