Torigoe Matsuri

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Torigoe Shrine would probably be just another obscure little shrine in Tokyo’s shitamachi (“low town” loosely interpreted as the working-class district) if not for one feature: its huge four ton mikoshi (portable shrine). Once a year, the people living around the shrine literally fight for the right to carry the shrine in a procession on a Sunday night in June. The fights are likely because carrying the shrine is supposed to bestow good luck on a person and the number of yakuza members (Japanese organized crime) who take part in the festival. Not to worry, unless you’re fighting to carry the mikoshi, these tough guys will do you no harm.

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