KCP Students Have a Blast at the Sanja Matsuri

Sanja Matsuri (三社祭, Three Shrine Festival) is held every third weekend of May in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. It honors the three founders of the Sensō-ji Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple dedicated to Bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokitesvara). Adjacent to the temple is the Asakusa shrine. Both places embody the rich culture and history of Japan and are popular destinations for many people who visit the country. This year, KCP students had the opportunity to enjoy one of the most celebrated festivals in Japan.

sanja6

KCP students at Asakusa. | KCP Flickr

Each May, over a million people, locals and tourists alike, visit Asakusa over the course of the three day Sanja Matsuri. About 100 mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) are paraded around the streets, finally culminating with the appearance of the three large mikoshi from Asakusa Shrine. They are believed to bring good fortune to businesses and the people.

sanja4

Mikoshi during the parade. | KCP Flickr

The Asakusa area is packed with stalls selling many different kinds of food. Festival games and the sounds of traditional Japanese drums and flutes fill the air. All the sights and sounds add to the atmosphere of a truly festive occasion that is uniquely Japanese.

sanja1

Fruit candy stand. | KCP Flickr

sanja9

Watching the passing parade. | KCP Flickr

We have lots more photos of the KCP excursion to Asakusa. View them in our Flickr set.

More of Sanja Matsuri and other May festivals here.