Shinto is the religion unique to the Japanese people, and an important part of what makes Japan unique is related to Shinto specific traditions. And I think that for the visitor to Japan, one of the most enjoyable and spectacular Shinto traditions is the mikoshi parade.
Mikoshi are lavishly decorate palanquins, with sizes varying from huge constructions, weighting several tons, to small ones, made to be carried by kids. Actually, a mikoshi is a miniature, portable shrine, conceived to house the kami (deity) during the festival, and the parade often consist of walking around the shrine’s neighborhood, while shaking the mikoshi to “amuse” the kami. As such, you can imagine that the parade is a very joyful event, for both participants and spectators…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: