So this video is going to be different from what we’re used to making. That’s because this past weekend Kichijoji, which is our hood, hosted their matsuri. We’ve seen pictures of it every year that we’ve lived here, but we’ve always been traveling when it happened, but THIS year we could FINALLY SEE IT IN PERSON. I just wanted to share some of the vibe and explain why this is special. Matsuri translates to “festival” and there are no specific matsuri days that apply to all of Japan. Like how “December 25th IS Christmas”, there’s no set date for this festival. And the dates vary from area to area, but almost every local area has at least one matsuri late summer or early Autumn related to the rice harvest. So these golden objects being hoisted up in the air are portable shrines called, “Mikoshi” and it’s believed a divine spirit is temporarily riding in them. The festival starts in the morning at a local shinto shrine where the spirit leaves the large shrine to enter the mikoshi. You’ll notice they’re jostling the mikoshi quite a bit. That’s done on purpose, and it’s to give the spirit a good time. To make them laugh and feel happy. Kind of like the joy you get from a ride at an amusement park. Though it’s not as cool as a roller coaster. I wonder if some places just put their shrines on roller coasters. I doubt it. Anyhow, by celebrating loudly and happily, they’re aiming to bring good luck and a good harvest for the year to come. The mikoshi’s are paraded around Kichijoi while passing through the various shopping districts. I didn’t really see any shrines in the residential areas. But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t hear them a few blocks away. It’s loooooud this time of year. For this matsuri the local business owners are wearing special cotton indigo coats called a “happi”. How super appropriate is that! (And yes, they’re wearing underwear ya perv. In fact I met a dude that I knew who was part of the festival, and he said I should be a part of it next year. And when I was about to wipe away a tear from being so touched for being invited he flashed me by lifting up his happi and showing his white thong underneath. Fully outlined, moose knuckling. And this was in a big crowd of people. I don’t think that’s part of the festival, but if it is I won’t be showing anyone my Johnson next year, so stop your fantasizing) which represents the shopping area that they’re Located in. You might have noticed they’re not all wearing the same happi, The Kichijoji matsuri was a two-day affair, and the local traffic and business didn’t stop for it. We saw exhausted people holding heavy shrines while waiting for the lights to change, or while trying not to block traffic. And they were super exhausted. I was only there for a couple of hours in the afternoon, but they were going well late into the night. There were break stations available so that people didn’t pass out. For real, I did all of this research after filming this, and even though I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, I couldn’t stop smiling, and everyone around me was also smiling non-stop. You can’t help but feel happy. If you’re in Japan around this time of year, and there’s a shrine festival going on, make sure you go. You’ll love it. And while I wasn’t able to participate in it this year, I still want to help my neighbourhood. So leave a smile in the comment section below, so that Kichijoji can have a good year of good luck and good harvest. Though I’m not sure if the spirits check YouTube comments. We’ve got another video coming this week. Stay tuned, and we’ll see you soon!