This is one of the biggest festivals in the Tokyo area. It honors the 3 dudes who founded Senso-ji, which is probably the most famous temple in Tokyo. If you come to Tokyo, and want to get all that creamy culture goodness that you read about in your guidebook, this place is top of the list.
I'll be honest, I suspected that this was just like every other festival out here, with hella people carrying shrines on their shoulders. Which is cool and all, but unless you are one of the people carrying the shrine, it gets less exciting each time.
I'd read that a lot of Yakuza gangsters come out for this event. After all, Asakusa is the old entertainment area of Tokyo. If you wander off the main road, you'll find a plethora of pachinko parlors, sport books, porno theaters, and right across from said porn theater, a god damned amusement park. I remember my first week in Japan, some of my co-teachers took me to Asakusa, and I was like, "Holy shit, uncensored porn movie posters directly across the street from a children's amusement park?!? What's up with this place?" They saw nothing strange in the situation.
So I'm looking for Yakuza, who dress down to loincloths, their huge tattoos visible for everyone.
Yeah, I know tattoos are kind of a secret thing here, but wiki-fucking-pedia even said this was an event to see them at.
So I fell back into routine festival behavior. Wander the streets, take photos of interesting people, eat some fried sea creatures.
Gotta admit it though, all these kids are hella cute.
In the end, no tattoos.
But I did see...
Maybe not gansta tattoos, but that's some gangsta ASS!