May 17
~
May 19

Sanja Matsuri 2019 (Sanja Festival)

Free

The Sanja Matsuri is known as one of the “3 great Shinto festivals in Tokyo” – along with the Kanda and Sanno festivals – and takes place on the third weekend of May.

This is one of the rowdier festivals with 2 million spectators expected to watch rather energetic, often tattooed gentlemen doing what can most accurately be described as ‘mikoshi jousting’. Whereas in other festivals the ‘portable shrine’ bearers may bounce the incredibly heavy mikoshi, during the Sanja matsuri,fundoshi clad participants often ride on the top and will try to knock opponents off.

The main parade happens on Saturday from 12 noon starting at Asakusa Shrine.

Sanja Matsuri participants
Oh, and the participants often wear loin cloths. | Photo by elmimmo used under CC

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