September 07, 2017, Posted by: James

Matsuri Festival Season

My favorite thing about Japanese summers is going to matsuri.

Matsuri are Japanese street festivals of varying sizes that happen in every nook and cranny of Japan. In Tokyo, most individual areas have their own small shrines, and shrines have mobile temples housing local gods. The locals dress up, get drunk, eat street food, and carry these mini temples through the streets.

As with many Japanese traditions, it's mostly an excuse to drink beer and eat grilled meat.

While some festivals are quite large like the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri:

... or the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto:

... I prefer the smaller local matsuri like this one in Omori, Tokyo.

Omori Matsuri, where the drunks go to party

And so, it is with a heavy heart that I look to the overcast sky today, and welcome the reasonably cool temperatures. We must all say goodbye to summer and the joyful activities it brings, and say hello to the tepid breeze of autumn.

I look forward to seeing everybody next year at the Awa-odori in Koenji, or at the Omori matsuri the name of which nobody really knows.


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