Sanja Matsuri, Asakusa, Tokyo
The Sanja Matsuri (i.e. Sanja Festival) is Tokyo's biggest, taking place in spring in the colorful downtown shitamachi area of Asakusa.
The Sanja Matsuri is notable for the throngs of sightseers it attracts, for the enormous number and variety of floats, and for the fierce energy of the event.
Many of the floats are manned by local yakuza gang members, so the elaborate, often full-body, tattoos on display are, alone, worth venturing out for.
However, recently the festival authorities have been trying to stop the mobsters from standing on top of the portable shrines and this has even led to the cancellation of the parade of portable shrines through the streets.