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Sanja Matsuri (Three Shrines Festival)

Feel the beat of the music as omikoshi (portable shrines) mounted on palanquins are paraded through the streets of Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood the third weekend in May. The Shinto festival honors the founders of the Asakusa Shrine and Sensoji Temple. Statues representing the kami (Shinto spirits) are transported in the omikoshi and are thought to bestow blessings on the neighborhood. More than a million people attend Tokyo’s most raucous festival, where you find traditional dancing and music, yatai (food stalls), children in yukata (summer kimonos), and drinking and revelry in the streets.

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