TRAVEL: People & Places: TokyoNG_1400_051

ASAKUSA, TOKYO -MAY 2017: The Sanja Matsuri Festival Day 2. A team dressed in its neighborhood colors chant and clap forcefully as they carry one of the approximately 100 mikoshi (portable shrines) from the 44 Asakusa districts. The portable shrines will be paraded through Nakamise-dōri and stop at the Hōzōmon where they pay their respects to Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. Afterwards, the mikoshi are carried to Asakusa Shrine where Shinto priests bless and purify them for the coming year. When the ceremony is completed, they are then carried back and paraded through their respective neighborhoods. Some of the mikoshi weigh approximately one ton and cost as much as 40 million yen ($400,000 USD). Despite the weight, mikoshi teams bounce them up and down wildly for the festival. Teams compete to be the most genki. They demonstrate the Japanese passion for teamwork and ganbatte spirit.The Sanja Matsuri ( literally {quote}Three Shrine Festival{quote}) is an annual festival in the Asakusa district that usually takes place over the third full weekend in May. It is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo. It is considered one of the wildest and largest. It is held in celebration of the three founders of Sensoji Temple, who are enshrined in Asakusa Shrine next door to the temple. Nearly two million people visit Asakusa over the three days of the festival, making it one of Tokyo's most popular festivals (photo Gilles Mingasson).

ASAKUSA, TOKYO -MAY 2017: The Sanja Matsuri Festival Day 2. A team dressed in its neighborhood colors chant and clap forcefully as they carry one of the approximately 100 mikoshi (portable shrines) from the 44 Asakusa districts. The portable shrines will be paraded through Nakamise-dōri and stop at the Hōzōmon where they pay their respects to Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. Afterwards, the mikoshi are carried to Asakusa Shrine where Shinto priests bless and purify them for the coming year. When the ceremony is completed, they are then carried back and paraded through their respective neighborhoods. Some of the mikoshi weigh approximately one ton and cost as much as 40 million yen ($400,000 USD). Despite the weight, mikoshi teams bounce them up and down wildly for the festival. Teams compete to be the most genki. They demonstrate the Japanese passion for teamwork and ganbatte spirit.The Sanja Matsuri ( literally "Three Shrine Festival") is an annual festival in the Asakusa district that usually takes place over the third full weekend in May. It is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo. It is considered one of the wildest and largest. It is held in celebration of the three founders of Sensoji Temple, who are enshrined in Asakusa Shrine next door to the temple. Nearly two million people visit Asakusa over the three days of the festival, making it one of Tokyo's most popular festivals (photo Gilles Mingasson).