Sanja Matsuri is one of Tokyo's biggest summer festivals. It also has a reputation for being a little on the wild side.
The festival runs three days and attracts 2 million visitors.
The festival is in honor of the three men who founded Senso-ji (Tokyo's oldest and most visited temple). As the story goes ... two fisherman (brothers) caught a Buddha statue in the river. It inspired them to create the temple. A third man was also inspired by the Buddha. Luckily he was rich enough to fund the project.
The temple was first constructed in 628. It was largely destroyed by the fire bombing of Tokyo in WWII. It's reconstruction was a symbol of national recovery.
According to the Asahi Shinbun Newspaper, some of the mikoshi in the festival are controlled by yakuza groups. These mikoshi weigh approximately one ton and costs around $500,000 US dollars (40 million yen). There are around 100 mikoshi in the festival parade.
The vast majority of people attending the festival are normal Tokyoites and tourists.
This couple has just been married.
There's plenty of festival food on the streets of the festival. The street leading up to Senso-ji temple (Nakamise street) has hundreds of souvenir shops.
Several highly rated Geisha performances are scheduled throughout the festival. Tickets are required. Geisha can often be seen participating in the festivities (Geisha are a rare sight in Tokyo).