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Monday, June 14, 2010

Hie Shrine Sanno Matsuri in Kojimachi Tokyo

日枝神社 山王祭り  麹町 平河町

Hie Shrine is a major Shinto shrine located in Nagata-cho, the center of Japan's political life. It belongs to the Sanno branch of Shinto, which has its origins in Mt. Hiei in Kyoto.

The exact beginnings of the shrine are lost in history, but it is believed to date back to the 15th century. Hie Shrine is most famous for its Sanno Festival (Sanno Matsuri), which in the Edo period (1603 to 1868) was one of the capital’s Big Three Festivals (together with the Kanda and Fukagawa Festivals).

I work in Kojimachi, and, being the middle of June, there are at least two neighborhood associations: the Kojimachi 4-chome association, and the Hirakawacho 1-chome association, that are celebrating the Sanno Festival in their own way.

The Kojimachi 4-chome association has a booth on busy Shinjuku-dori Avenue, right in front of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, while the Hirakawacho 1-chome association’s booth is rather less conspicuous, on a backstreet a couple of minutes’ walk from the Kojimachi 4-chome one.

Check out this YouTube video of the booths of the two neighborhood associations: both celebrating the Sanno Matsuri festival.

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