Kishiwada Danjiri festival starts in Osaka

The centuries-old Kishiwada Danjiri festival kicked off in Osaka, western Japan, on Saturday. Spectators have been flocking to see massive carts being pulled through the streets at high speeds.

The festival in the city of Kishiwada dates back more than 300 years, and is held to ensure a good harvest.

A total of 34 decorated "danjiri" carts from districts across the city took part. Each of them stands 4 meters high and weighs about 4 tons.

A team of men wearing traditional "happi" coats dragged the heavy carts through the streets at high speeds, while shouting to the sounds of flutes and drums.

Spectators cheered each time a danjiri cart turned around a street corner, with a man perched on top shouting a command. The performance is called "yarimawashi."

A man who gave that command said that the performance makes people smile, and the danjiri festival is great.

A woman who lives in the city says everyone is braving the heat to perform, and the event is charming as it unites people from different generations.

The festival runs through Sunday.