This tondo festival in Honkawa is a nice mix of shrine rite and neighborhood event.
Sorasaya Shrine’s annual tondo festival is held in neighboring Sorasaya Park in the Honkawa district, just north of the Peace Memorial Park next to the Ota-gawa River. The burning of the previous year’s health-protecting and fortune-giving talismans in the bamboo bonfire is attended my priests from the shrine and local dignitaries. As the flames start to die down, local ladies dish out hot bowls of vegetables in pork broth to all comers.
Unlike the tondo festival held at Gokoku Shrine, you can sometimes feel a bit out of place when you showing up at a smaller neighborhood tondo such as this. At Sorasaya, however, the locals seem happy to share their bonfire with outsiders and the ladies are quite insistent that you take a bowl of soup.
The ritual lighting of the bonfire starts at around 1pm, but you can make a day of it by going along in the morning to watch the building of the pyre itself.