Tokyo is one of our favorite cities so we couldn’t resist a quick stopover, even if it was for only two days. As our visit was during a Sumo Grand Tournament, we were especially excited to view Japan’s national sport.
We spent practically the entire first day at the sumo tournament and it did not disappoint. It was a fun and cultural experience we would recommend to anyone visiting Japan. If you are interested in attending a sumo match, see Tips for Watching Sumo in Japan for advice on finding tickets, choosing seats and other information that we think is helpful.
On our second day, we wandered around Asakusa and the famous Sensōji (or Asakusa Kannon Temple) since we had skipped it on our previous visit to Tokyo. Although we enjoyed the temple, it was very busy and packed with tourists.
The walk to Sensōji is lined with shops selling various souvenirs.
This shop was particularly cute.
We read online that an annual ritual, Moja Okuri, was taking place at Sensōji later that day so we decided to stick around to see it. The wait was longer than anticipated as the ritual began an hour later than listed on the website. Still, it was worth the wait.
Moja Okuri features two torch-bearing priests dressed as devils.
Here is a link to a one minute video on youtube of their entrance as well as a few pictures:
The priests run around the temple grounds spraying sparks as the crowd chases them. Seriously, people run pretty frantically. It is believed that if sparks from the torches fall on you good health is guaranteed throughout the year. People also collect the ashes as good luck charms.
Moja Okuri did not seem to be particularly well known and we were among only a handful of Westerners that had stuck around to see it.
Overall, we had a great time in Tokyo again and were excited the timing worked out to catch two interesting events.
Index (rest of series):
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago
American Airlines – First Class – Chicago to Tokyo Narita
Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu
2 Days in Tokyo: Devils and Sumo (this post)
Asiana Business Class Lounge – Seoul, Korea
Asiana Airlines – Business Class – Seoul Incheon to Chengdu
Fraser Suites – Chengdu, China
Chengdu, China: Pandas, Pandas and Pandas
Air China (Star Alliance) First Class Lounge – Chengdu, China
Air China – Business Class – Chengdu to Taipei
Forte Orange Hotel Kaifong (Taipei, Taiwan)
Eva Air Lounge – Taipei Taoyuan
Eva Airlines – Business Class – Taipei Taoyuan to Shanghai Pudong
Marriott Executive Apartments, Shanghai, Tomorrow Square
Dragonair/Cathay Pacific Lounge – Shanghai Pudong
American Airlines – First Class – Shanghai Pudong to Chicago