Lately I’ve been enjoying “traditional Japanese festivals” (matsuris 祭り) more than ever. Matsuris are usually held next to a temple and one of the main activities is to eat. Omikoshi processions and traditional dances are common activities as well; but somehow I have the feeling that what is really important and brings people to the festivals is the food, the sake and having a fun time with family and friends. During the festival there are several food stalls, some of them with tables and chairs and some without them. These pictures are from the last festival I attended at the Hanazono temple (in Shinjuku), a temple dedicated to Inari, the Shintoist god of rice and fertility. It is a small, but quite enjoyable, temple trapped in between the skyscrapers of Tokyo; when you go inside it makes you relax and escape from the stress of the big city. If you want to enjoy some matsuri, in this Wikipedia page you can find the name, date and location of the most important festivals in Japan:
Lanterns sponsored by local businesses.
Spiritual bouquets blessed by gods; if you put them on your house or company they will bring good fortune.
This woman was performing a weird show with snakes.
There is a snake in that box.
Other festivals, matsuris: