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Sanno Festival 2016

Skyscrapers tower over Hie shrine - I never tire of views like this

Today I went to the Sanno Festival which was held at Hie shrine in Chiyoda ward.  The Sanno is one of Tokyo's big three festivals - the other two being the Sanja and Kanda.  It goes for a whopping eleven days, but today (i.e. Sunday) was the only day I could attend.  Unfortunately not a lot happened, as the main scheduled event was tea drinking.  I think the other days had some far more interesting stuff happening which I would like to see one day, hopefully next year.  However, the weather was nice and that made for a good excuse to visit a shrine, which is something I always enjoy.  I think it is every second year that this festival has an enormous parade that winds its way through several major parts of the city including the Imperial palace.

One of mikoshi (portable shrine) used during the Sanno Festival

Entering the grounds here can be challenging for those lacking fitness as the stairs as they are steep and many.  Luckily though the main entrance also has an escalator which makes things much easier.  Once I got inside the main area, I saw it all very sedate, lots of people lining up to pray and/or drink.   Hie shrine has almost everything placed around its central courtyard so seeing what little there was there, was very easy.

People lining up to pray at the main hall

Even though I haven't seen the Sanno in full flight I imagine it probably doesn't get as lively as the Sanja which can be pretty amazing.  I think one major reason for that is the Sanja, which is based in Askusa, is located in more of a residential area which makes a huge difference.  Hie shrine is quite different, right in the middle of the city and with the surrounding skyscrapers towering over the complex, provide some great views.  A really good place for photos.  Here's looking forward to next year and seeing some of the other days.

One of the mikoshi's has these two on top

Bottles of sake on display

Musicians providing some entertainment for the crowd

The main hall of Hie shrine and the crowd waiting to pray

One of the side entrances to Hie shrine - I had to wait ages here to get this shot as so many people want this one too!

And more people lining up to pray

The shrine that the cockerell adorns is the first one in the Jinkosai (the parade that tours the inner city area)

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