It is almost the end of Summer. If you visit Japan during the period, you might see Japanese people walking the parade and carrying Golden Wagon along the street.
You might wonder what are they doing? Is it okay to join the parade?
Good news, you can!!
Last weekend, I joined the festival at Harajuku and it was so much fun!! Can’t wait to tell you guys about the experience. Check out this blog and find out!!!
Harajuku Mikoshi (原宿神輿)
Mikoshi (神輿) means a small shrine from Shinto religion which is carried around the city during festival period. The local people believe that gods will protect their land and bring good fortune to them. Most shrines in Japan will hold the festival once a year.
On Sunday 25 September, Kitaya Inari Shrine (北谷稲荷神社) held such festival and carried Mikoshi around streets of Harajuku. Yes! Harajuku is one of the most crowed places in Tokyo, somehow, it made Harajuku even more exciting!!
Not only does Harajuka have a Mikoshi Festival, my friend also participated in one at Shibuya (渋谷) last week. You can check her blog to see what is it like by clicking the link above.
Now, let’s see Harajuku’s Mikoshi festival!
At the festival
We started our parade from the middle of Takeshita Street, the main shopping street of the area at the most peak time (mid-day of Sunday).
As you can see from its size, the shrine requires more that 10 people to carry. Moreover, Japanese people make it more challenging to hold by shaking the shrine while carrying it along the street, resulting in it feeling much more heavier!
Before the parade started, we were given a small cup of Japanese Sake while listening to the opening speech. Sake is believed to purify all who participate in the festival.
The dress I wore is called “Happi” which is normally worn in traditional festivals of Japan. It looks like that I didn’t wear any pants but I swear I did!! However, those who are really into the festival (especially men) will wear this dress with “Thong” which is too sexy for me… haha…
We started from Takeshita Street and walked pass Harajuku Station, then had a short break. After that, we continued to Omotesando Street and finished at our starting point.
Don’t just stand and watch! There were lots of Tourists who joined our parade as well. I guarantee you that it is like once in a lifetime experience. Next time you see the parade, step in and join the fun!!!
Even though I said that the shrine is quite heavy, anyone can join the parade!!
We took a short break once we arrived at Meiji Shrine. Too bad, we could not get to carry the Mikoshi inside the shrine.
Scene of the Day
JR Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line), Shinjuku (2 minutes away), Shibuya (1 minutes away)
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