Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I was coming home after 9 PM Saturday night, on July 9th, when I passed this group of people preparing a mikoshi (portable shrine) for Ogionsa on July 23rd and 24th. Normally, the shrine is stored nearby, but without the long poles attached to it. When Ogionsa approaches, the shrines are put in public view about 3-4 weeks in advance. As the date gets closer, the long poles are attached and the white wrappings are put on, both to symbolize purity, and to make it a little more comfortable to carry. The ceremony here was to bless the workers, and thank everyone for getting the mikoshi ready, and for volunteering to carry it in the parade in 2 weeks.
The mikoshi itself.
It had been raining all day on Saturday and the air was really humid, messing up the photo.
At the same time, the Tenmonkan walkways have been festooned with lanterns, meaning that the Rokugatsu-gou matsuri is approaching, too (that may be this week).
The Japanese do love their ghost stories during the summer.
(Reference to a different parade with big floats, drums and bears.)