JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


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.461 views
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Warriors coming down the Omotesando. 武者行列414 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.368 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.361 viewsWaiting near Futarasan Shrine's torii.
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Chigo children wearing an elaborate crown with the signs of the eto Oriental Zodiac. Nikko332 viewsNikko Grand Spring Festival in May.
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Warriors on Omotesando283 views
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Face of a samurai.277 views
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Omotesando main promenade. Also see the video at YouTube. 表参道258 views
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Shrine priest253 views
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Dance maidens247 views
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Warriors leaving the Otabisho.246 views
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Warriors walk back up the slope in front of the Otabisho.230 views
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Coming down from Yomeimon Gate (National Treasure). 陽明門216 viewsThe gate is a National Treasure and symbol of Nikko.

陽明門
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Chigo children 稚児, Nikko216 views
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Shrine priests standing211 views
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Passing under the torii at Futarasan Shrine. 二荒山神社199 views二荒山神社
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Priests on a rainy day.197 views
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Shrine priest186 views
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Near departure time at Otabisho180 views
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Warriors and Five-story Pagoda177 views
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Shrine maidens 巫女165 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.157 viewsAfter the festival ends, there's enough time to see the shrine.
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Ichino-torii153 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152 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.134 views
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Prayer ceremony by priests132 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.129 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.126 views
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Cool heads.124 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.120 views
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Both men and boys wear the warrior costumes.115 views
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Futarasan Shrine's torii114 views
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Warriors coming down the Omotesando. 武者行列114 views
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A short path leads to Futarasan Shrine.112 views
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Second group of mikoshi bearers fall in line.111 views
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Portable shrine in Futarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall.111 views二荒山神社 拝殿
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Over 50 different costumes are featured in the procession.111 views
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The procession's starting point at Futarasan Shrine is a great photo op.109 views
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At 11:00 am, the procession starts. They leave Futarasan Shrine through this torii. 上新道109 views上新道
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞109 views
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The three portable shrines (mikoshi) in Futarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall. 二荒山神社 拝殿107 views
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Warriors make their way through.106 views
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Rear view106 views
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What happened to the white roof for the musicians? Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞106 viewsThese pictures were taken in different years and combined.
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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105 views
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Beware of horse droppings105 views
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Start of the Omotesando with Ichino-torii in the background. 一ノ鳥居104 views
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This short path goes to the Omotesando main promenade.104 views上新道
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May 18: At 10:35 am, the spirits are transferred from Futarasan Shrine back to the portable shrines.103 viewsFutarasan Shrine's Haiden Hall.

二荒山神社 拝殿
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Mikoshi bearers standing by.103 views
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First group of mikoshi bearers fall in line.103 views
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Mikoshi bearers standing by.102 views
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Grounds of Futarasan Shrine, the starting point of the "1,000-Person Procession." 千人行列102 views
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Warriors with shiny gold helmets.102 views
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Another mikoshi going up to Omote-mon Gate102 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101 views御旅所
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance musicians101 views
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Omotesando main promenade 表参道100 views
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Passing under the torii at Futarasan Shrine. 二荒山神社99 views二荒山神社
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99 views
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The Boy Scouts collect offerings (excluding horse droppings) thrown on the ground by spectators.99 views
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞99 views
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People get ready to leave and go back to Toshogu Shrine.99 views
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Shrine priests sitting98 views
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Azuma-asobi no Mai Dance 東遊の舞98 views
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Carrying out the mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.97 views
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Those crowns are heavy.97 views
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The procession includes about 18 horses.96 views
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Sacred music musicians96 views
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Carrying out another mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.95 views
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Mikoshi passing through Ichino-torii95 views
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This is near the end of the Omortesando and they turn left to go to the Otabisho resting place.95 views
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Omotesando is the main part of the route to watch the procession. It is the shrine's largest avenue.95 views
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Carrying out another mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.94 views
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These two performed the Yaotome-no-Mai. They are leaving the building.94 views
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Chigo children, notice the Oriental zodiac animals on their crowns.94 views
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Carrying out another mikoshi from Futarasan Shrine.93 views
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Mikoshi93 views
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Dancers leaving the building93 views
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Chigo children and assistants make sure the crown doesn't fall off.93 views
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Another lion (shi-shi)92 views
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Wooden birds92 views
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Warriors going through the Omote-mon Gate.92 views
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Mikoshi coming through Ichino-torii92 views
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Otabisho 御旅所91 views
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Offerings of sea bream (tai)90 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Banners leading the procession.89 views
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Ceremony to give offerings to the shrine deity. 三本立七五膳89 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Mikoshi coming through.89 views
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Ceremony to give offerings to the shrine deity. 三本立七五膳89 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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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86 views
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Lion85 views
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Warriors on Omotesando85 views
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Procession banners84 views
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Offering of ducks (dead)84 views
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Mikoshi and Five-story Pagoda84 views
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Mikoshi enter the Ichino-torii84 views
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Mikoshi going up to Omote-mon Gate84 views
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Ceremony at the Otabisho. 御旅所祭83 views
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The three mikoshi are carried out of the Otabisho.83 views
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82 viewsSanbon-date Shichi-jugo zen

三本立七五膳
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Ceremony at the Otabisho. 御旅所祭 拝殿81 views
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Mikoshi is carried out of the Otabisho.81 views
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Ya-otome no Mai Sacred Dance 八乙女の舞80 views
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Heading to Omotesando. They follow the same route back.79 views
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Warriors on Omotesando79 views
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1:00 pm: Departure at Otabisho78 views
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Mikoshi is carried out of the Otabisho.78 views
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Mikoshi and Five-story Pagoda78 views
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Leaving the Otabisho.78 views
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