Thank you for joining to “Tokyo Free Walking Tour – Asakusa Route” on April 26.  We welcomed 12 guests from Argentina, Austria, Canada, India, Portugal and USA. It was a lovely sunny day though was rather hot.  But there was a light breeze which was very pleasant.

Asakusa is one of the most popular districts in Tokyo for both local and overseas visitors. The area is always crowded with people thus we usually divide guests into small groups so that guests could enjoy our guiding and interactive communication with us.

On the 3rd weekend of May, one of the biggest events for Asakusa is scheduled, i.e. Sanja Matsuri.  Sanja Matsuri or Sanja Festival is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo held annually for 3 days on the third weekend of May in Asakusa Shrine. The festival is held in honor of the three men who founded Senso-ji Temple. Sanja Matsuri is considered as one of the wildest and largest festivals in Tokyo, which welcomes over 2 million visitors in 3 days.  The chances are that you will learn more details from the report of next Asakusa tour scheduled on May 21.

For this issue, let me introduce you a lovely annual event held on April 28, Saturday.  It is Naki-Sumo Contest, or Crying Baby Contest.  This is a contest competing with baby’s crying voices on the temporary sumo-ring at the space behind the Senso-ji main building. In Japan, it is said that a crying baby grows healthy and strong. Naki-sumo is a traditional ceremony-like event praying baby’s a happiness and good health. Babies who were born in previous year are qualified for entitlement, but just one time for life.  Usually babies are asked not to cry.  But, on this occasion, babies are asked to cry bitterly by all adults, such as parents, sumo referee and so on.  In indifference, many babies are just sleeping or laughing.  Really peaceful and heart-warming scene.


(Reported by Akemi)