The Sanja Matsuri: Tokyo’s Most Raucous Festival (Video)
The highlight of the Sanja Matsuri comes when the three mighty mikoshi belonging to the Asakusa Shrine are paraded through the streets on Sunday. Leaving the shrine at dawn, the three colossal mikoshi are carried through the 44 neighborhoods of Asakusa in a riotous explosion of excitement and noise that lasts through the day. Crowds of people throng the area as the people of Asakusa celebrate the biggest street party on the Tokyo calendar. At the handover from one district to the next, crowds of pumped-up people compete for pole position. The frenzy that ensues has earned the festival the nickname ara-matsuri, or “the wild festival.” Each neighborhood association takes charge of the mikoshi for just 40 minutes: a brief moment packed with a year’s worth of excitement and energy.