After getting a few portraits and some general overview shots, I started looking for other angles. At one junction, where the mikoshi make a 90 degree turn, I noticed there was an elderly man watching the proceedings from the upstairs window of his home. I waved at him, pointed to my camera, and a few minutes later I was also watching the festival from the upstairs window. It turns out Kawauchi-san has lived in the same place since he was a kid. He watches the parade every year, and was quite happy to have some company for a little while. It was great to be able to look down on proceedings. I was able to capture a good selection of images I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise. I even had enough time to shoot some video. A huge thank you to Kawauchi-san for happily letting a stranger into his home, and even giving the stranger a bottle of cold tea on a hot day in August.
On Sunday 17th, Fukagawa Hachiman Festival reached its peak. Festivities began with blessings from the Shinto priest outside the shrine. Dozens of mikoshi were carried through the streets, the participants getting soaked by far more bystanders with buckets of water. As with yesterday, it was great to know that the Pentax 645Z and lenses are properly weather sealed. The camera was splashed several times, but there were no issues. However, there were some professional water soakers that I needed to stay clear of. Numerous member of the Tokyo fire departments were there to drench the groups with water. There’s weather sealing, and there’s being hit by a firehose sealing. I wasn’t going to test the latter. My goal therefore was to try and get in close to the groups without getting soaked, or crushed underfoot by a team of mikoshi carriers. And a bit of video