Fukagawa Matsuri or the Fukagawa Festival(深川祭 Fukagawa Matsuri, formerly 深川八幡祭 Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri), which is held around August 15th, is one of the three great Shinto festivals of Tokyo. The other two are the Kanda Matsuri and Sannō Matsuri.It is one of Tokyo’s biggest summer festivals with 30,000 taking part and half a million watching.
This matsuri at Fukagawa’s Tomioka Hachimangu shrine takes place annually, but is celebrated in all its glory only once every three years; so it is also held this year, 2017. It is famous because of the scenes of water being thrown at the mikoshi carriers by visitors. For every three years, this festival becomes the “honmatsuri” when there is an added procession of the Hachiman imperial carriage along the streets of Koto Ward accompanied by 120 smaller mikoshi. And the festival takes places over fives days.
Each year, over 50 teams parade the streets of Koto-ku carrying huge mikoshi (portable shrines) while onlookers throw water over them–both to purify the shrines, but also to cool the participants who are hoisting thousands of kilograms on their shoulders. As a final show of strength, teams toss the 2,500 kilogram mikoshi into the air as a show of energy and vitality.