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Traditional Japanese festivals in Tokyo – 2016 Summer

Post: Friday June 17, 2016

Matsuri is the Japanese word for a festival. It is a local festival celebrated by the local people in different areas in Japan. In the summer time, matsuri is held everywhere all across Japan and dates vary from area to area. The usual matsuri are often based on one event with many different food stalls, entertainment, carnival games or performances. Today, it seems like matsuri is held to unite the community through an event that brings the young and old together. If you see a Yagura which is usually set up in the centre of the matsuri, do not hesitate to join others who are dancing. This is called the “bon-odori” dance giving the honor to the departed soul. Every matsuri has a different theme so you should be able to enjoy new taste of different matsuri food each time!



Below are the most popular matsuri you can experience in Tokyo this summer!


Iriya Asagao Matsuri

Iriya Asagao Matsuri is held from July 6th to 8th every year around the Iriya Kishimojin temple. The festival is dedicated to morning glories. Around 400,000 people joins to celebrate every year.


Address:  1-12-16 Shitaya, Taito-Ku, Tokyo   In & Around Iriya Kishimojin
Date:  July 6th – July 8th 5PM-11PM
Access:  5 min walk from JR Yamanote Line/ Keihin Tohoku Line Uguisudani Station
              1 min walk from Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Iriya Station

More Info. >



Hozuki-Ichi at Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple was built in 628 and is known as the oldest temple in Tokyo. You will see many stalls selling Ground Cherry Pods and hear the breezy sound of wind bells (Fu rin) and see many people wearing colorful Yukatas experiencing the Shitamachi atmosphere.


Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-Ku, Tokyo     Senso-Ji Temple
Date: July 9th – July 10th
Access: 5 min walk from Asakusa sta. “Kaminarimon” the Grand Gate is very near Asakusa sta.)

More Info. >


Kagurazaka Matsuri Festival

Kagurazaka Festival lets you experience the old Tokyo atmosphere. The highlight of this festival is the Awa-Odori dance.

Image: From 神楽坂通り商店街


Address: Around Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji temple Between Kagurazaka 1-chome and Kagurazaka-dori street.
             Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 
Date: July 27th – July 30th
Access: 1 min walk from JR Iidabashi Station
              0 min walk from Tokyo Metro Tozai Line/Yurakucho Line/Nanboku line Iidabashi Station Exit B3

More Info. >>



Mitama Matsuri

Mitama matsuri started in 1947. You can witness the beautiful 30,000 Chochin (lanterns) decorated every year for this festival. The lanterns will light up from 6PM.

mitama matsuri
Image: From 靖国神社ホームページ

Address: Yasukuni Shrine  3-1-1, Kudan-Kita, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo
Date: July 13th-16th
Access: 10 min walk from Ichigaya and Iidabashi stations. Sobu line and Chuo line / 5 min walk from Kudanshita station

More Info. >>



Azabu-Juban Matsuri Noryo-Matsuri Festival

The Azabu-Juban shopping district has been hosting the Azabu-Juban Noryo-matsuri festival for more than 40 years. You must experience this local matsuri organized by the shop owners.

Azabujuban nouryo maturi
Image: From 麻布十番商店街

Address: AzabuJuban Shopping Street, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Date: August 27th – 28th
Access: Short walk from Azabu Juban Station Tokyo Metro/ Toei Subway

More Info. >

More Info. > Azabujuban Shopping Street

Asakusa Samba Carnival Parada and Contest

This festival held in Asakusa is the largest samba festival in Japan. Authentic samba dance teams from across Japan performs on this day.

Asakusa sanba

Image: From 浅草サンバカーニバル

Address: Umamichi-dori Street and Kaminarimon-dori street Asakusa Taito-Ku, Tokyo 
Date: August 27th 2016
Acccess: Short walk from Tokyo Metro Tawaramachi Station/ Asakusa station, Toei Asakusa Station, Tobu line Asakusa Station

More Info. >



Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri Super Yosakoi Festival 2016

One of the largest festivals in Tokyo, you get to see the traditional yosakoi dance from Kochi city in Harajuku Omotesando. 830,000 people came to see this performance past year.


Image: From 原宿表参道元気祭

Address: Around Harajuku Omotesando and Yoyogi Shibuya-Ku
Date: August 27th – 28th
Access: 1 min walk from JR Yamanote Line Harajuku Station Omotesando Exit

More Info. >


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