One of the Three Great Festivals of Edo (Tokyo), Fukagawa Hachiman Festival takes place at Tomioka Hachiman Shrine. This is the largest shrine dedicated to the God, Hachiman in Tokyo.
Fukagawa Hachiman Festival dates back to the order of the Tokugawa shogunate. It was first held to celebrate the birth of Ietsuna Tokugawa, the 4th generation heir to the Tokugawa shogun.
With 30,000 taking part and half a million watching, the Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s biggest summer festivals. 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. Even the local fire department gets involved, spraying crowds with full-pressure firehoses. As a final show of strength, teams toss the 2,500 kilogram mikoshi into the air as a show of energy and vitality. 53 large scale Mikoshi (portable shrines) parade through a path 8km long as the mikoshi carriers chant “Wasshoi!”.
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