JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Nikko Toshogu Grand Spring Festival 東照宮春季大祭
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Posing with maybe with their school teacher.448 views
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Warriors coming down the Omotesando. 武者行列393 views
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Also called "Sennin Gyoretsu" (1,000-person Procession 千人行列), this is Nikko's largest festival held on May 17-18. The highlight is a long procession of over 1,000 people dressed in various costumes.354 viewsThe three portable shrines are dedicated to the spirits of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Minamoto Yoritomo. Photos start with May 17 at Toshogu Shrine, when priests gathered for a ceremony. 発興祭
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The warriors are the procession's main attraction.348 viewsWaiting near Futarasan Shrine's torii.
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Chigo children wearing an elaborate crown with the signs of the eto Oriental Zodiac. Nikko307 viewsNikko Grand Spring Festival in May.
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Warriors on Omotesando270 views
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Face of a samurai.262 views
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Omotesando main promenade. Also see the video at YouTube. 表参道245 views
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Shrine priest240 views
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Warriors leaving the Otabisho.233 views
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Dance maidens232 views
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Warriors walk back up the slope in front of the Otabisho.215 views
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Coming down from Yomeimon Gate (National Treasure). 陽明門204 viewsThe gate is a National Treasure and symbol of Nikko.

陽明門
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Chigo children 稚児, Nikko201 views
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Shrine priests standing199 views
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Passing under the torii at Futarasan Shrine. 二荒山神社187 views二荒山神社
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Priests on a rainy day.184 views
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Shrine priest173 views
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Warriors and Five-story Pagoda165 views
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Near departure time at Otabisho164 views
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Shrine maidens 巫女155 views
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1:30 pm: The end (path to Futarasan Shrine). A similar festival is held in Oct., but on a smaller scale and with only one mikoshi.148 viewsAfter the festival ends, there's enough time to see the shrine.
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Ichino-torii145 views
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In front of the portable shrine storehouse for the three mikoshi. A ceremony is held to transfer the spirits from the main shrine to the portable shrines. 神輿舎にて宵成渡御143 viewsThis building is right next to the famous Yomei-mon Gate at the Toshogu Shrine.

神輿舎にて宵成渡御
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Passing under Yomeimon Gate.126 views
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Prayer ceremony by priests124 views
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This warrior procession is said to be a reenactment of Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada's visit to Toshogu Shrine, dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Successive shoguns visited the shrine as well.120 views上新道
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The three portable shrines (mikoshi) are then carried out of the storehouse to be taken to Futarasan Shrine.117 views
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Cool heads.114 views
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The spirits of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Minamoto Yoritomo in the three portable shrines are then transferred to Futarasan Shrine. The mikoshi spend the night here.112 views
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Both men and boys wear the warrior costumes.107 views
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Warriors coming down the Omotesando. 武者行列106 views
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Futarasan Shrine's torii105 views
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A short path leads to Futarasan Shrine.103 views
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Portable shrine in Futarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall.103 views二荒山神社 拝殿
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Over 50 different costumes are featured in the procession.103 views
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Second group of mikoshi bearers fall in line.102 views
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The procession's starting point at Futarasan Shrine is a great photo op.100 views
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The three portable shrines (mikoshi) in Futarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall. 二荒山神社 拝殿99 views
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At 11:00 am, the procession starts. They leave Futarasan Shrine through this torii. 上新道99 views上新道
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞99 views
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Warriors make their way through.98 views
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Rear view98 views
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What happened to the white roof for the musicians? Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞97 viewsThese pictures were taken in different years and combined.
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Start of the Omotesando with Ichino-torii in the background. 一ノ鳥居96 views
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This short path goes to the Omotesando main promenade.96 views上新道
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Beware of horse droppings96 views
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May 18: At 10:35 am, the spirits are transferred from Futarasan Shrine back to the portable shrines.95 viewsFutarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall.

二荒山神社 拝殿
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Mikoshi bearers standing by.95 views
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Mikoshi bearers standing by.94 views
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First group of mikoshi bearers fall in line.94 views
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Grounds of Futarasan Shrine, the starting point of the "1,000-Person Procession." 千人行列94 views
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Warriors with shiny gold helmets.94 views
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Entering Futarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall. All three portable shrines are taken to this hall. 二荒山神社 拝殿93 views
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12 noon: Otabisho resting place. They arrive and have lunch. The three mikoshi are stored in the building on the upper left. 御旅所93 views御旅所
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance musicians93 views
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Another mikoshi going up to Omote-mon Gate93 views
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Omotesando main promenade 表参道92 views
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Passing under the torii at Futarasan Shrine. 二荒山神社91 views二荒山神社
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Shrine priests sitting89 views
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The Boy Scouts collect offerings (excluding horse droppings) thrown on the ground by spectators.89 views
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞89 views
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Carrying out the mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.88 views
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The procession includes about 18 horses.88 views
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞88 views
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People get ready to leave and go back to Toshogu Shrine.88 views
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Those crowns are heavy.88 views
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Carrying out another mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.87 views
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Mikoshi passing through Ichino-torii87 views
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This is near the end of the Omortesando and they turn left to go to the Otabisho resting place.87 views
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Omotesando is the main part of the route to watch the procession. It is the shrine's largest avenue.87 views
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Carrying out another mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.86 views
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These two performed the Yaotome-no-Mai. They are leaving the building.86 views
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Chigo children, notice the Oriental zodiac animals on their crowns.86 views
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Sacred music musicians85 views
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Mikoshi85 views
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Dancers leaving the building85 views
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Chigo children and assistants make sure the crown doesn't fall off.85 views
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Carrying out another mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.84 views
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Otabisho 御旅所83 views
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Wooden birds83 views
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Another lion (shi-shi)82 views
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Warriors going through the Omote-mon Gate.82 views
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Mikoshi coming through Ichino-torii82 views
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Ceremony to give offerings to the shrine deity. 三本立七五膳81 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Mikoshi coming through.81 views
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Ceremony to give offerings to the shrine deity. 三本立七五膳81 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Offerings of sea bream (tai)81 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Banners leading the procession.80 views
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Lion78 views
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Warriors on Omotesando77 views
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Mikoshi going up to Omote-mon Gate77 views
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Procession banners76 views
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Offering of ducks (dead)76 views
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Mikoshi stored in the Otabisho's Shinden Hall, a resting place for spirits in transit. 御旅所 御神殿76 views
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Ceremony at the Otabisho. 御旅所祭75 views
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75 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Mikoshi and Five-story Pagoda75 views
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Mikoshi enter the Ichino-torii75 views
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Ceremony at the Otabisho. 御旅所祭 拝殿74 views
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The three mikoshi are carried out of the Otabisho.74 views
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Ya-otome no Mai Sacred Dance 八乙女の舞73 views
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Mikoshi is carried out of the Otabisho.73 views
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Warriors on Omotesando72 views
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1:00 pm: Departure at Otabisho71 views
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Heading to Omotesando. They follow the same route back.71 views
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Mikoshi is carried out of the Otabisho.71 views
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Leaving the Otabisho.71 views
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Mikoshi and Five-story Pagoda70 views
 
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