After being canceled due to last year's Great East Japan Earthquake, one of Tokyo's oldest and best known festivals is back.
The Sanja Matsuri is under way in the historic Asakusa district through May 20. On the first day, May 18, participants paraded in traditional costumes on Asakusa's Nakamise-dori street.
At Asakusa Shrine, dancers performed the traditional Binzasara to pray for prosperity and a good harvest.
This year marks the 700th anniversary of the festival.
The climax of the Sanja Matsuri comes when “honja mikoshi” portable shrines (from the main shrine) are paraded through the Asakusa district.
With the nearby Tokyo Sky Tree scheduled to open to the public on May 22, organizers expect the festival to attract more visitors than in 2010, when about 1.6 million people attended the three-day event.
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