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Sanno Festival (Hie Shrine)

Hie Shrine, atop a wooded hilltop between the shiny glass of the Akasaka business district and the dull gray of the Japanese government buildings, was once the protective shrine of Edo Castle and as such was blessed to have the Tokugawa shogun attend its festival―which has been alternating years with the Kanda Festival since 1681.
The main festival procession follows a route of three kilometers and circles parts of the imperial Palace. Over 500 participants dress up in costumes of the old imperial court, with the lineup including ox-driven carts, priests on horseback, and mikoshi.
On odd-numbered years, the shrine presents a more subdued fashion of the same festival.

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