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Yesterday was the Ikebukuro Fukuro Festival. This festival has been held annually since 1968 and this year a total of 18 ‘mikoshi’ (portable shrines) were carried along the parade route. Thousands of people came to Ikebukuro to watch the festival – it was absolutely packed! Sakura House residents, who are studying Japanese in Tokyo, also took part and helped carry the mikoshi. People from Vietnam, Nepal, China and lots of other countries participated. It was a really international atmosphere! This was the first time for all of them to carry a mikoshi. Just before the start they quickly practised how to carry the mikoshi and the words they should chant. […]