It's wisteria blossom time at the Kameido shrine downtown Tokyo, and since Kameido is all about wisteria it is also the best time for a yearly festival.
This is the shrine in winter time (photo downloaded from internet). The gate, two beautiful red arched bridges leading to the shrine itself further down the path, large ponds where tortoises swim around. Wisteria trees are underneath the grids which will support the flowers in spring. The design of the shrine is quite ingenuous with the crisscross of alleys, bridges, ponds, trees, all crammed into a tiny space.
I visited Kameido a few years back and I knew it would be that crowded. It's a classic Tokyo festival moment, you need to be prepared to face the crowd, there is just no way around it.
Wisteria lucky charms.
Attempting to cross the first bridge. Needless to say, VERY slowly.
From the top of the bridge, the Tokyo Skytree, newest and tallest icon in the landscape surrounding the shrine. Can you see the tortoises sunbathing?
The flowers were beautiful of course, very fragrant too, but starting to bloom out. The best viewing time must have been last week.
Patting the holy cow :-))
(that guy made his dog pat the cow too, I don't know what that was all about)
The second, smaller bridge.
And you already know what's missing. Food stands! Too many to take pictures of everything.
Gathering for a performance. Of what, I don't know, I left the premises before it started. This was a very nice afternoon out.