Nakano is a quaint town just outside the boundaries of Shinjuku, separated by the Kanda river. Staying here via airbnb may in fact be the greatest choice I have made for this trip. (actually, it wasn't entirely my choice; the place I was intending to stay at was booked)
Why is it so great, you ask? The neighborhood itself very quiet, save the chattering crickets, which I chalk up to ambient noise. The house I am staying in is a 20 minute (briskly-paced) walk to all the action of Shinjuku. From there, you can catch a train to just about anywhere in Tokyo.
That's enough rambling though, I could go on for quite some time. Instead, I will introduce the subject at hand... Over this past weekend, the locals were coincidentally having a festival. I believe it was to celebrate the new "silver week" holiday, honoring the elderly - a grande and thoughtful purpose in my book.
Saturday featured a kid's version of the festival, with a taiko drum and mini Mikoshi parade. Sunday was the adults' turn; with the full version of the Mikoshi parade. I spent a couple of hours taking photos at the festival on Saturday, and was invited back to help carry the big Mikoshi on Sunday. Sunday was... well... tiring, to say the least, but an entirely unique experience nonetheless.
Without further ado, I present to you a few of my favorite photos from the event.
Kids' Mikoshi parade photos
With all the children pounding away at the Taiko drum, it was easy for onlookers to tell just when the parade was rolling through.
The Mikoshi brings luck to the homes on streets through which it is carried. The kids get to practice carrying a smaller version.
Life is Not Game
This is a good philosophical shot, maybe? Think about it and come up with your own meaning.
Near the end of the parade, the kids were rewarded for all of their hard work with two huge containers of delectable ice pops. This kid was looking really spiffy next to his parent, in his matching red matsuri outfit. There was a day, long ago, when I looked just like this (probably).
For the adults, the long and tiring parade on Saturday was supplemented with FREE beer, food, and snacks at every stop; followed by much more free beer at the end of the journey. The beer doesn't make carrying the Mikoshi hurt less, but it does help you not to notice how much it hurts.
My favorite photo from the event; I managed to snap this one just at the right moment - kids run around in a hectic fashion when they know there are delicious frozen treats, which makes it difficult to photograph them.