Torigoe Matsuri

鳥越祭   Click to listen highlighted text! 鳥越祭

(torigoe matsuri)

Torigoe Matsuri is one of the most popular and significant festivals in Tokyo, Japan. Held annually in the Torigoe district of Taito Ward, the festival is dedicated to the Torigoe Shrine, which enshrines the deity of safe childbirth and good health. The festival is celebrated on the second and third weekends of June and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The Torigoe Matsuri is renowned for its giant floats, called dashi, which are paraded through the streets. These floats can reach up to 10 meters in height and weigh over 4 tons. They are elaborately decorated with traditional Japanese motifs and are pulled by groups of men dressed in happi coats, chanting and shouting to the beat of taiko drums.

In addition to the dashi parade, the festival also features a mikoshi (portable shrine) procession, in which the Torigoe Shrine’s deity is carried around the streets to bless the local community. There are also food stalls selling traditional festival foods such as takoyaki, yakisoba, and grilled meats, as well as games and activities for children.

One of the highlights of the Torigoe Matsuri is the yoiyama evening, which takes place on the Friday before the festival. During this time, the dashi floats are displayed in front of the Torigoe Shrine, and visitors can see them up close and take pictures. The atmosphere is festive, with lanterns lighting up the streets and food and drink vendors selling their wares.

The Torigoe Matsuri has a long history, dating back over 300 years. It was originally held to ward off epidemics and disasters and to pray for good health and a good harvest. Over time, it has evolved into a celebration of the local community and its traditions, and is now one of Tokyo’s most beloved festivals.

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