Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tokyo Temple Run

Tokyo (May 26, 2012)

On the way back to our hotel, after a day walking in the Tokyo Fukugawa area, we bumped into a very big crowd just outside Ueno station. Tokyo is a city with a rich night life, but we didn't expect to see so such a crowd. Getting closer, we realized that something was going on: the crowd was thicker around a small portable temple that a dozen men dressed in uniforms were lifting on poles, like the Lady of Our Graces in Boston's North End. The "uniform" of the temple bearers was also interesting (see photo on the left): a grey shirt with two kanji on the back (a happi?) over runner's shorts or, in some cases, a kind of loincloth (fundoshi) that made them look like they were rather pant less, in a very Donald Duck way. I am not sure what they were actually doing this late at night, but at some point they lifted their temple, started to run, and noisily disappeared into the night. We must have stumbled into the Tokyo Temple run!

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