Traditional samurai procession takes place in Nikko

About 1,200 people clad in samurai or other period costumes took part in a parade on Saturday at the Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

The parade, known as Hyakumonozoroi Sennin Musha Gyoretsu, is held every spring and autumn to reenact the procession that transferred the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate that ruled over Japan from 17th to the late 19th century.

The participants walked down a street for about 1 kilometer. The tail end of the procession featured three portable shrines, each weighing more than 800 kilograms and carried by about 50 people. The shrines honor Tokugawa Ieyasu and two other warlords.

The parade took place on a large scale for the first time in five years. The event had been cancelled or scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tourists flocked along the parade route to watch the spectacular procession.

One participant dressed as a samurai said the armor was heavier than he had imagined. He added he felt solemn.

A woman said she comes to watch the event every year, and the latest procession was more impressive than last year as she was able to see more portable shrines.