The Fukagwa Hachiman Matsuri is a notable festival held at Tomioka Hachimangu (富岡八幡宮), aka Fukagawa Hachiman (深川八幡), a Shinto shrine which is is a 5-minute walk to the east from Monzen-nakacho Station of the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line or the Toei Oedo Line in Tokyo core. For details about this shrine, see the article on Tomioka Hachimangu.The Fukagwa Hachiman Matsuri is one of the most notable festivals held in Tokyo in mid-summer.
Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine
The Fukagwa Hachiman Matsuri (深川八幡祭), or the Fukagwa Matsuri (深川祭) held in mid-August in Tokyo proper, is another name for the Reitaisai (annual grand festival) of Tomioka Hachimangu. It is sometimes praised as one of the top three matsuri of Edo, Edo being the name of Tokyo in the feudal times.
Note that this festival is fully practiced every three years, and those held in other years are significantly downgraded. In a fully conducted year, more than 50 community-owned mikoshi hold a joint parade. In the following year, there's a procession of single but large shrine-owned mikoshi. In a year previous to a fully conducted year, there's a joint parade consisting of about 30 small mikoshi for kids.
Procession of horen
In a fully-conducted year which arrives every three years, on Saturday during the festival period, horen, which is a kind of portable shrine, makes a procession composed of trucks. They drive through the area the shrine divinities proctect, stopping at community mikoshi bases to offer dances by shrine maidens.
Joint procession of community-owned mikoshi
The joint parade of more than 50 community-owned mikoshi, which is conducted on Sunday following the abovementioned horen procession, is what makes the Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri famous. Since it is held in a extremely hot climate, people along the procession route splash water at mikoshi.
Procession of shrine-owned mikoshi
At the Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri conducted in the year following a fully-conducted year, Shrine-owned mikoshi No.2 makes a procession.
This mikoshi (shrine-owned mikoshi No.2) weighs two metric tons. The shrine-owned mikoshi No.1 does not make a procession since it's too large to do so.
Events held every year
Regardless of fully counduted or not, many votive events are held every year at the Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri.
Though modest an event, this ritual is the central piece of the religious aspect. This ritual is held on August 15 regardless of what day of the week it is.
Many more are practiced during the festival.