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Tokyo's Asakusa district comes alive with the Sanja Matsuri festival

Participants carry a portable shrine belonging to Asakusa Jinja shrine through throngs of people for one of Tokyo's three great festivals, the "Sanja Matsuri" festival, on the grounds of Senso-ji temple, in Tokyo's Taito Ward, on May 20, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The "Sanja Matsuri" festival, one of the big three annual festivals of the Japanese capital, reached its peak on the final day of ceremonies on May 20.

Just after 6 a.m. as the morning sunlight shone on the grounds of Senso-ji temple, parishioners gathered at Asakusa Jinja shrime and carried three portable shrines, or "mikoshi," from the ground of the Shinto shrine and to the streets.

The grounds of the adjacent Buddhist temple of Senso-ji filled up with participants wearing colorful traditional clothing especially for festivals. To the echo of the sound of traditional flutes, parishioners shook the portable shrines while raising their voices in ceremonial chants.

(Japanese original by Tomofumi Inagaki, Tokyo Bureau)

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