When we emerged from the subway near our apartment after our trip to Asakusa, the streets were more crowded than usual. We heard loud chanting in the distance and saw men and women carrying a large portable shrine. The narrow street to the shrine near our apartment was lined with street vendors selling various concoctions of squid, chicken and something like a Japanese style burrito - a sort of tortilla covered with noodles, meat, eggs, spices, and sauces. There were booths where children scooped fish and small turtles from the water. The street vendors were also selling French style crepes - banana, custard, whipped cream, and your choice of syrup made to order. The festivities continued until about 10:30 in the evening and resumed the next day.

We were told later that the celebration is called Omatsuri. The portable shrine is called an Omikoshi. During the festival the spirit who inhabits the shrine is placed in the Omikoshi and taken around the neighborhood. At the end of the festivities, the spirit is returned to the shrine.