JAPAN PHOTOS

By Philbert Ono

Image search results - "crowd"
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A horde of people follow each portable shrine.
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Crowd near Tenjin-bashi Bridge.
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Still in Shinozaki Station heading for the exit. Koiwa Station on the JR Sobu Line must also have been crowded.
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After getting to the top of the riverbank, this is the spectacle I came to see and photograph.
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Some 900,000 of humanity gathered here for the Edogawa-ku Fireworks in Aug.
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And you think your largest soccer stadium can hold a lotta people. Come see here.
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It was a lot more crowded than the last time I saw these fireworks years ago.
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The Edogawa Ward Fireworks display is one of Tokyo's largest with a massive attendance of 900,000 people in both Edogawa Ward and neighboring Ichikawa city in Chiba. .
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People are spread out along the riverbank of Edogawa River. Held on the first Sat. of Aug. at 7:15 pm to 8:25 pm. If weather is bad, it is held on the next day
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Pointer to Expo shuttle train at Nagoya Station.
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9:01 am: Arrived JR Banpaku Yakusa Station from Nagoya
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9:22 am: Que to board the Linimo tram
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9:25 am: On the Linimo tram to the Expo site
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9:27 am: Arrived North Gate (view from Linimo tram)
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9:37 am: North Gate bottleneck for security check. Passed through by 9:45 am. Hardly a thorough check of your bags which also go through a metal detector machine. No bottled liquids allowed.
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In front of the Nagoya pavilion at Aichi Expo.
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Line to board the gondola at the North Station. Better to board at the South Station which is much less crowded.
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Long line at the Hitachi Group Pavilion.
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Waiting time: 110 minutes
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Line to receive reservation tickets to enter Toyota Pavilion. This is where you line up to obtain a reservation ticket (seiri-ken) to enter the Toyota Pavilion.This is where you line up to obtain a reservation ticket (seiri-ken) to enter the Toyota Pavilion. You have to line up a few hours before they start distributing the tickets because the number of available tickets is limited. Once there are enough people standing in line, they refuse any more people to que up. When the time comes to give out the tickets, the line advances quickly and soon disappears.
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Line to receive reservation tickets to enter Toyota Pavilion
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Line to receive reservation tickets to enter Toyota Pavilion
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Gondola for Seto site. Besides the main Nagakute site, there's another smaller site at Seto accessible by gondola. I didn't think it was worth the wait to go to the smaller site.
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Crowds at corporate pavilions.
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Line to receive reservation tickets to enter Global House (mammoth display).
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Line to receive reservation tickets to enter Global House (mammoth display).
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Near Kinomoto Station is Jizo-zaka road, a slightly sloping cobblestone road leading to the Jizo-in temple. During the annual Kinomoto Jizo Ennichi Festival held on Aug. 22-25, this road is packed with food stalls and people going to worship. 地蔵縁日
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Going to worship at Kinomoto Jizo-in temple.
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Giant Jizo statue overlooks food stalls within the temple grounds.
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Kids catching small colorful balls in the water with a paper net.
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You can exchange the balls with prizes (more balls = better prizes).
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Votive prayer tablets with frog design.
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Jizo statue
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On Hokkoku Kaido Road fronting the temple, more food/game stalls.
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Hokkoku Kaido Road
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Hokkoku Kaido Road
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Former bank building called Koyukan, now used for flea markets and other events. 交遊館
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The three-day Asakusa Sanja Matsuri is held during the weekend of the third Sunday of May. Numerous portable shrines (mikoshi) parade all over Asakusa amid huge crowds. Most of these photos were taken on May 17-18, 2008. (B/W ones taken some years ago.)
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Sanja means "Three Shrines," dedicated to the two fishermen who found the Kannon buddha statue and the wealthy landlord who converted them to Buddhism. The statue became the object of worship that founded Sensoji Temple.
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They are deified by Asakusa Shrine next to Sensoji Temple. The festival's formal name is Asakusa Jinja Reitaisai. The festival's formal name is Asakusa Jinja Reitaisai.
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Kaminarimon-dori road is closed to traffic during the festival. Unlike other Asakusa festival processions, there is no parade route. The whole area is teeming with portable shrines. Kaminarimon-dori, Nakamise arcade, and Sensoji temple are main areas.
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On the second day (Sat.) of the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri at noon, numerous mikoshi (portable shrines) gather behind Sensoji temple, and wait their turn to depart for the streets of Asakusa.
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From 12:30 pm, amid a sea of people, the mikoshi leave one after another. 観音本堂裏広場に集合
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The mikoshi come from over 40 neighborhoods of Asakusa. 氏子各町神輿連合渡御、発進
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Mikoshi bearers
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A sea of people in front of Sensoji temple in the area I call "The Pit."
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The mikoshi is brought in front of Sensoji temple one after another from all directions.
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Asakusa Sanja Matsuri in front of Sensoji temple.
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A sea of people.
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This is what it looks like at the ground level in "the pit."
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This mikoshi is heading to the front of Sensoji temple. I followed them.
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Phoenix atop the mikoshi roof.
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Heading to the front of Sensoji temple.
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They receive their blessings, then leave.
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This is what it looks like in front of Sensoji temple.
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Meanwhile, inside Sensoji temple, worshippers who managed to squeeze through the crowds go inside the temple to pray.
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What it looks like from the left side of Sensoji temple.
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Left side of Sensoji temple, in "the pit."
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Mikoshi also depart the left side of Sensoji temple.
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Headband
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A higher view.
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The same man some years before??
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The mikoshi also leave Sensoji temple and head to the Nakamise shopping arcade.
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Heading to Hozomon Gate.
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After passing through Hozomon Gate, they enter Nakamise shopping arcade.
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Nakamise shopping arcade
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Nakamise shopping arcade.
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Never too busy for a phone call.
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"OK mom, I'll pick up the bread, milk, cereal, and natto after this festival is over."
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Asakusa Sanja Festival
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Heading down Nakamise shopping arcade.
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One funny old man took his bicycle right through the crowd. He was soon escorted out.
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Mikoshi for the kids too.
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Mikoshi drummer
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Festivals are tiring.
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The mikoshi passes under Kaminarimon Gate, a symbol of Asakusa. The giant red lantern is collapsed upward to make room.
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Area in front of Kaminarimon Gate
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Kaminarimon-dori road during Sanja Matsuri
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Quite a few women carried the mikoshi too.
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Festival music (drums and flute).
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Asakusa Shrine torii.
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A mikoshi in front of Asakusa Shrine.
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Mikoshi passing through Asakusa Shrine, right next to Sensoji temple.
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Worshippers line up to pray at Asakusa Shrine.
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Asakusa Shrine also has a stage for various entertainment such as an Asakusa geisha dance.
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And taiko drumming.
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Storehouse for the three Sanja mikoshi portable shrines.
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The three Sanja mikoshi portable shrines dedicated to the three fishermen who founded the Kannon statue. Unfortunately, the parading of these mikoshi was canceled this year (2008) because people always stood on the beams to ride on it.
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Taiko drummer
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Float for festival music.
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Asakusa Sanja Matsuri
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Asakusa Sanja Matsuri
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The Sanja Festival is known to have many yakuza gangsters participating. However, I hardly saw any this year. Perhaps because the three Sanja mikoshi were not paraded this year and they could not ride on it half naked. Or they were all covered up.
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Police watch the crowd on Kaminarimon-dori
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Ice cream break.
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The mikoshi rests too.
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OK, break time is over and they pick up the mikoshi.
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What it looks like when you carry the mikoshi.
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People are not supposed to stand on the mikoshi.
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