For weeks now I’ve seen those posters all over the neighbourhood. On the official billboards as well as on many homes and businesses.

At one point I asked a friend about them and she told me that they were announcing the upcoming Torikoe Matsuri. Matsuri means festival and Torikoe is a shinto shrine in Taito-ku, the part of Tokyo where I live. Last year the festival has been cancelled due to the Covid situation. This year they did not cancel but resized it substantially. On the picture below you see how it would be normally with them carrying a large (4 tons!) portable shrine through the streets.

This part of the festival was cancelled. Unfortunately. But I knew that they still planned something with a drum. I love Japanese drums! So, last Saturday afternoon I rode to the shrine to see if something was happening there. On the way there I saw several places where it looked as if something was going to happen. But when…?

At the shrine, everything was very quiet. No festival vibe. No food stalls. Only a few people visiting and praying.

And I saw the drum!!

Then on Sunday, I suddenly heard this boom……. and then again, boom….. You can imagine, what I did. I instantly ran out of the house. I needed to see it. Luckily, I found a nice spot to watch the drum procession walking by. If you can spare some minutes, you can watch the video below. It’s nothing too spectacular, but to me just soooo Japanese this mix of tradition with its fixed rules and the chaotic execution of it.

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