Japan’s Palanquin Mikoshi fest marks reopening of tourism sector

Tokyo [Japan], June 4 (ANI): This is a religious palanquin ‘mikoshi’, a sacred shrine that is strolling through a crowd of spectators. The visitors are rejoiced to witness celebrations after the long pandemic break.For the first time in three years, three Mikoshis were carried out from the Asakusa shrine area.These sacred shrines are led by a musical band and lined up in a row. Originally 1,000 carriers crowded into one Mikoshi but to prevent infection, the number of carriers was limited to 100 by attaching tires to it. Nevertheless, many spectators gathered on the street to see the portable shrines touring the city for the first time in three years.Asakusa is one of the most popular tourist cities in Japan. It is crowded with foreign tourists because it houses famous attractions like the Senso-Ji temple and ancient sweet shops.However, due to the new coronavirus, the number of tourists coming to the city has decreased from 30 per cent to 2 per cent.The Nakamise shopping street in front of the Senso-Ji temple grounds which was visited by many foreign tourists was also seriously affected due to the pandemic.”We suffered a lot of damage during the Pandemic. We were badly affected,” said a shop staff of the Asakusa shrine area.

There were almost no tourists here for two years. Not even Japanese, he added discussing his plight.

However, the shop staff also underlined that the most ideal situation is that Japanese people, as well as foreign tourists, can come to Asakusa and enjoy various sightseeing spots and buy souvenirs and bring back happy memories.The Japanese government has announced that it will ease restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals and begin accepting foreign tourists from this month.Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center is located across the road from Kaminarimon. Its information staff also feel a positive movement of foreign tourists returning to Asakusa.Recently, we have been receiving more previews and inquiries from guides and we feel that things are slowly returning to the situation they used to be, said Yoriko Maruyama, a member of Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center.

Highlighting the Asakusa region, Yoriko Maruyama further said that the map of Asakusa is available in 13 languages, including Japanese.

We also have Tokyo guidebooks available in 10 languages, he stated, adding that foreign visitors can also enjoy wearing kimono and riding on a jinrikisha (rickshaw).

At Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center, staff accommodates foreign visitors from all over the world, such as providing information in various languages at the reception desk.Japan hopes to revive inbound tourism by easing restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists. (ANI)