Nihonbashi bridge cleaning ritual

Scenario of the Nihonbashi washing ceremony


Cleaning rituals of the Nihonbashi bridge1

The fire-brigade sprays water on the bridge and brushes the surface of the road with their equipment. Schoolchildren, local entrepreneurs and neighborhood associations brush the other parts of the bridge by hand. The nameplate of the bridge is washed by a child on a lifting ramp.

Cleaning rituals of the Nihonbashi bridge2

Ten areas of Japan supply their purest water in bamboo containers for the ceremony (see Water collection).  The water is used for the cleaning of the brass Zero-point in the middle of the bridge (see Zero point).

Cleaning rituals of the Nihonbashi bridge3

The fire-brigade also cleans the bottom and sides of the bridge with their boats.

Cleaning rituals of the Nihonbashi bridge4

At a certain moment crates of mud balls arrive on the scene. These balls are filled with bacteria.

Cleaning rituals of the Nihonbashi bridge5

To purify the water the mud balls are thrown in the water from the edge of the bridge. This part of the ceremony is especially popular by the businessmen (as they won’t get dirty).

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Nihonbashi bridge cleaning ritual


Every 4th sunday of July the Nihonbashi bridge is filled with businessmen, local inhabitants, children, the fire-brigade and neighborhood associations all busy with cleaning the Nihonbashi bridge. Read More…



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