Sanja Matsuri festival returns to Tokyo's Asakusa in pre-pandemic form

Tokyo's Asakusa district is crowded with people to witness a traditional festival being staged close to its original form for the first time in four years.

The Sanja Matsuri is a centuries-old festival that heralds the arrival of summer. The three-day event reached its peak on Sunday, with a procession of "mikoshi," or portable shrines.

Three floats were brought out from Asakusa Shrine early in the morning. Parishioners then paraded them through the streets of Asakusa.

It is the first time the procession has been staged in its full form since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

A man there to watch the parade said he's glad that excitement has returned to Asakusa.

A woman among the "mikoshi" bearers said she enjoyed carrying the portable shrine for the first time in four years.