Sanno Matsuri festival is one of the most beloved in the city. It alternates with Kanda Matsuri on even-numbered years and takes place between June 7th to 17th. The festival is held by the Hie Shrine, home to Tokyo’s guardian deity. The main highlight of the festival is the parade which usually takes place on the weekend in the middle of the festive period. It passes through central Tokyo and goes on for 9 hours. The parade starts and finishes at Hie Shrine, which is believed to predate to provide protection of the city.
In the morning, visitors can see a large straw ring in the middle of the Hie Shrine. Walking through this ring brings purification and many visitors rush to do it. The parade passes Yotsuya train station and Yasukuni Shrine to arrive to the Tokyo Imperial Palace by noon. It makes a stop there for about 30 min while the mikoshi are used in religious ceremonies. The chief priest goes to the palace to pray for the imperial family.
This event is focused on Tokyo and celebrates its role of the political center during the time of the Tokugawa shoguns. The parade includes many palanquins, floats, refering to the period. Many people are also wearing traditional Japanese costumes.