A mikoshi parade

A mikoshi parade is a very familiar sight at any Japanese festival. A mikoshi is believed to be a vehicle for the gods, to move them from the main shrine to a temporary shrine during a festival.

Some of the larger shrines had wheels, but they are traditionally carried on the shoulders of participants. 

Patiently waiting for the parade to begin.

This flying cicada landed right next to us. They are enormous, at least three inches long, ewww! 

Four really big shrines were rolled down the street, then they stopped in the intersection facing each other, and there was a sort of performance. Lots of drums, chanting and dancing. 

Also, some very interesting characters. 

You’ll always find a dragon somewhere. If he bites your head it is good luck, so next time you see a dragon, stick out your head! 

I always love the costumes.

LOTS of drums, with no particular beat being played. Everyone just played their own thing. 

Many of the men just flat out, had no pants on. The girls were quite perplexed about this. I had no answers. 

The front seemed to be covered with some sort of Speedo, and as far as I could ascertain without closer inspection, the back was bare. I can’t see Matt adopting this look anytime soon.

And the main event, the portable mikoshi.

The mikoshi are traditionally carried on the shoulder, so it really helps for everyone to be about the same height.

I thought this little guy was so cute.

The portable mikoshi were carried into the area with the large mikoshi and weird characters, and they danced around for quite awhile. 

Yes, apparently it is perfectly acceptable to wear your silk Yves St. Laurent pajamas to a festival. Sign me up! 

Different teams decorate and carry their mikoshi.  

Large amounts of sake may or may not have been consumed, by this point, too. In fact, there were actually sake wagons following the shrines, as well.

It’s nice to see that ladies of all cultures avoid sensible shoes!

This was the mikoshi from Yokota Air Base, our home. 

The guys were having a great time participating, though I sensed not quite as much sake had been involved! 

I liked the backs of their happi, (jacket).

After all of the mikoshi had been paraded out, we wandered around and got a closer look at the characters. 

I’d love to know the meaning behind all of these creatures. 

I never get tired of seeing the ladies in their summer yukata. So colorful and pretty!

Until, next time…..sayonara!


  1. Amara
    September 30, 2015 / 6:52 am

    So colorful! The Japanese seem to be so aligned with valuing beauty. Something to emulate. Maybe not the pants-less thing though…

  2. Laura
    November 4, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    Benny would fit right in!

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