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Tokyo’s Sanja Matsuri Festival

People in Tokyo have enjoyed the climax of the annual 3-day early summer festival featuring 3 portable shrines. The event was held for the first time in 2 years.

The “Sanja Matsuri” is one of the capitals largest festivals with a 700-year history and is held in the Asakusa district of downtown Tokyo.

Last year, following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, the organizers decided to cancel most parts of the festival, including the parade.

On Sunday, men and women wearing “happi” coats carried 3 golden portable shrines on their shoulders to take different routes for the 3 shrines that each weigh about one ton.

Thousands of onlookers cheered the participants and took photos of the parade.

A woman who carried one of the shrines said the town looked deserted last year. She said she feels even happier than before to take part in the festival after one years absence.

The organizers representative, Nobuhisa Yoshioka, said the Tokyo Sky Tree will open soon and Tokyo will have a new tourist attraction along with traditional events like this festival. He said he hopes the festival will encourage people to find ways to boost the economy.