Tis approaching the end of the Summer meaning Matsuri [祭り] or festival time in Japan. Many shrines have events and food stalls set up and the streets are lined with lanterns. Along those streets one would occasionally see a Mikoshi [神輿] being carried along. The honorific form of "Mikoshi" is "Omikoshi."
The Omikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine for the gods and spirits. It resembles a small building which is fixed to 4 poles. Omikoshi are usually very heavy and require many folks to carry it on their shoulders. The Omikoshi is usually bounced up and down to the rhythm of the chants as you can see from the video that wifey took below as I took the photos ^^;
Some more photos and video of some Omikoshi being carried through our neighborhood but this time with some drumming. I absolutely love how the Japanese have been keeping the tradition every year.
Folks who are interested in keeping that tradition can apply to help out at one of these festivals - the local town group will come round and drop off a form every year which you can fill in. This year I saw many gaijin joining in on the fun too.
Another great thing about Japan can be observed from the last photo of this post taken right after the event attended by thousands. Nobody had to go around sweeping or picking up rubbish because there wasn't any.
This festival took place on the 5th of September - come to Nishikoyama this time next year and you will be able join in on the fun.
And this is the photo I was talking about - taken right after the festival with no rubbish in sight.