Ah, the last festival of the summer. Yes, with the arrival of autumn topsides (hemispherically speaking), summer matsuri festivals are coming to an end. Most of these involve a bunch of guys (mainly) and girls getting appropriately hammered, then deciding if would be a good idea if they carried an incredibly heavy and ornate shrine (mikoshi) down the road. It’s done with a lot of spirit, shouting, cheering and whistle blowing – something you definitely don’t want to miss if you come to Japan in the summer. See it before people realise that robots could be doing all the hard work for them!
I’ve had the chance to see a good number of matsuri so far, but this time I had the good fortune to be at a friend’s apartment overlooking the whole shebang, which gave a different perspective on things.
The guys at the top of the next picture are like air traffic controllers. At least they would be if planes were carried around everywhere by their foolhardy passengers, and the pilots were drunk and not wearing pants. They also seem to have guys who push against the mikoshi carriers to create extra resistance, as if their job wasn’t hard enough.
These taiko drummers followed the mikoshi around to keep the tempo up and the carriers sufficiently spirited.
And with the summer festivals over, the only thing everyone has to console themselves with is the amazing autumn transformation of leaves into brilliant reds and oranges. Which I guess I’ll grudgingly accept.