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We saw a couple of groups in the streets of Tokyo, Japan last sunday (May 28, 2017) engaged in some kind of celebration but couldn't find anyone english speaking around to explain to us what's going on.

Does anyone happen to recognise what celebration this may be?

One of the groups near Shinjuku train station... One of the groups

Wall painting in Oshiage metro station depicting the same thing: Wall painting in Oshiage metro station depicting the same thing

  • Please, add a timeframe. Over the weekend...which one? Can you add the day the photo was taken, and if possible in which area of Tokio? – motoDrizzt May 31 '17 at 6:55
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You appear to have run into the procession for the yearly festival of Hanazono Jinja (花園神社例大祭) in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, which was held this year on Sunday, May 28: http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp/mt/schedule/

Note the 雷電 (Raiden, "Thunder and Lightning") logos on the happi coats of the bearers of the o-mikoshi portable shrine.

Incidentally, the mural in Oshiage Stn is called Edo no Matsuri (江戸の祭, "Festival of Old Tokyo") and depicts a generic traditional festival, not any specific event: http://www.tokyo-d-plex.com/~yukomiki/station/others.html

  • Thanks. So in general these processions are Festivals of a nearby shrine and the "thing" they carry is a portable shrine, correct? We saw one more on the same day with followers in blue coats but not quite sure where exactly it was. – MLu Jun 1 '17 at 6:00
  • Yup, it's a mikoshi: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoshi – jpatokal Jun 1 '17 at 7:41
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Perhaps the biggest festival in Tokyo at the end of May is the Sanja Festival. If you were in Asakusa, then that is probably the right answer.

Apparently, as you were in Shinjuku, the Hanozono festival is also possible.

  • I'd agree as the portable shrine in the picture is exactly one of the used in the Sanja Matsuri, but the photo has been taken a week later than the weekend the festival was held. – motoDrizzt May 31 '17 at 8:11

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