This weekend I went to the Asakusa Portable Shrine Festival (Sanja Matsuri) with my neighbour Werner. Actualle the Senso Ji temple in Asakusa is one of the ugliest and most commercialised temples around and when I visited the first time (in 2004) I never thought that I would return there twice just 18 months later...

However, I thought that "nearly 100 portable shrines, carried around by happi-coated men and women" could be an interresting sight and make the area worthwile to go [and yes, this is the way the japanese spell happy].

Just after we left the metro station we saw the first shrine being carried through the streets. With a lot of He-Ho it moved inch by inch...

A little later the second one came around the corner, with some drums it made created a nice and "happi" atmosphere. The sun did the rest.

They are EVERYWHERE!!!

They just put the shrine down on some support and get something to drink or to eat. Stopping the whole group and putting the thing down is all managed by the man in green while making some sounds with the wooden beams he holds in his hands.

Another portable shrine is carried from the Senso Ji through the main gate into the city streets

There are also shrines / festival carts with kids playing drums or carrying mini portable shrines

Geishas!!! We spotted them quite a bit further and followed them. Only when they had to pass this portable shirine (but down so the carriers could get some rest) I managed to pass them by quickly passing the shrine on the other side :-)