Tokyo Jidai Matsuri

posted in: Japan Trip 2012 | 0

Today is Culture Day and there’s a big parade in Asakusa called the “Tokyo Jidai Festival” which features period costumes from a variety of periods in Japanese history. Let’s check it out!

1:00 JST

Again our journey starts with a stop at Mister Donut to fuel up, followed by the usual subway connections to Asakusa. I won’t bore you with those details. What I will bore you with is the wonderfulness of a street parade attended by hundreds upon hundreds of onlookers in front of the Karimarimon Gate. The Seven Lucky Gods were there as was a contingent of Shinsengumi, samurai warriors, Mito Komon and a host of historical and mythological figures that I don’t even recognize…ōmon

Unique to this parade (other than the solely Japanese jidai characters) were the strips of plastic tarp lining the streets for the crowd to sit on, after removing their shoes of course. And when the parade ended, wow it ended abruptly, the streets were cleared and all returned to normal.

Chatted with one of my “tarp mates” about our impressions of Japan. She is a native born Jamaican, vacationing in Japan but currently a full-time resident of Beijing. Big standout in her mind was how quiet the Japanese are compared to the Chinese who are LOUD. Especially on the trains and subways where no one speaks a word in Japan. Even this parade, with hundreds and hundreds of people, is very quiet.

4:00pm JST

Sensoji Temple is packed today. Investigated a kushi and kogai combination that I found yesterday, only to find upon closer inspection that it is cracked and the paint chipping on the ends. That’s not satisfactory, so I visited an antique dealer I know and purchased an authentic and lovely kushi and kogai set from him. Also found a few other items for friends back in the States. Postcards are also coming so stay tuned!

5:00pm JST

The sun has set and I get a big helping of Okinomiyaki from one of the food stalls set up on the temple grounds, last night. The food vendors got an early start so they could be ready to handle the additional crowd from today’s parade.

9:00pm JST

I’m now becoming expert at navigating the Tokyo Metro system in the same way that I had attained understanding of the JR system five years ago… good enough to get around without being picked off by the wolves. Walking back to the apartment from the subway station, I noted how chill the air is. My leather jacket is now going to become a must during both day and night. Figured out how to work the apartment heater too, just as wonderful a feeling as the AC was in the intense summer heat, five years ago. Ahhhh… the little pleasures.

Watched the Yomiuri Giants defeat the Hokkaido Nihon Hams in a very close game while enjoying my hot green tea and a bag of day old baked goods from Akafudado. A day old and still yummy. I also watch a variety of anime titles on Tokyo MX at night, some of which I’m familiar with, many of which I am not, some of which are so bizarre, they will never find their way to American television. Hey, I think I just saw an episode of “Genshiken”…