May 8, 2013

Don't miss Kanda Festival taking place this week!!

In the recent post I wrote a bit about shinto and Kanda Shrine, but I forgot to mention the very important event that will happen this week... Yes, that's Kanda Matsuri (Festival)!!! If you happen to be in Tokyo this week, don't miss it!

Considered as one of the three biggest festivals of Edo (ancient name of Tokyo), Kanda Festival usually takes place every other year, but it was cancelled in 2011 due to the big earth quake in Tohoku region. Therefore, we were waiting for this year in great anticipation.

The festival will start with a ritual that transports "kami " (shinto gods) to mikoshi, or portable shrines,  tomorrow evening (9th) on the precinct yard of *Kanda Shrine, located at 2-16-2 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
 *Kanda Jinja is the official name but it normally goes by the name of  Kanda Myojin.

The highlight of the festival is on the 11th (Saturday) and 12th (Sunday)

On the 11th, there will be a procession of shinto priests in traditional court costume of the Heian Period and the parade of floats and mikoshi through the central districts of Tokyo (Kanda, Nihombashi, Otemachi, Marunouchi and Akihabara) all day long. They are definitely worth viewing!

A float for the festival was being displayed on the shrine's precinct yard the day we visited. See the close-up shot of the upper part (below).

On the 12th, about 100 mikoshi will gather at the shrine. The precinct yard will be packed with people who carry the mikoshi and of course tourists.  The photo is borrowed from the official website of Kanda Myojin Shrine.

Today's useful expression: すみません、とおしてください。 Sumimasen, toshite kudasai.
It means Excuse me (us), please let me (us) go through.

You'll have many chances to use this expression in the situation like the photo above....

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