TOKYO FESTIVALS

There are many Tokyo Festivals and events throughout the year. Tokyo Festivals tend to revolve round the seasons with a large number in the Cherry Blossom season (early Spring) and summer.

Asakusa Samba Matsuri
Asakusa Samba Matsuri, also known as Asakusa Samba Festival, is styled on the Rio de Janerio festival and features around 1,500 samba dances. Asakusa Samba Matsuri parade passes Sensoji Temple and attracts crowds in the order of 400,000. Asakusa Samba Matsuri is held on the last Saturday of August each year.

Date: August 29 2015
Location: Asakusa
Address: Taito, Tokyo,
Revenge of the Forty-seven Ronin
Revenge of the Forty-seven Ronin Festival includes a ceremony in the graveyard for the Ronin. There are also many food stalls set up which sell Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki.

Date: December 14 2015
Location: Sengakuji Temple
Address: Minato, Tokyo,
Meiji Shrine Spring Festival
Spring Festival

Date: March 01 2016
Location: Meiji Jingu Shrine
Address: Shibuya, Tokyo,
Osunafumi Taisai
Walking-on-sand ritual

Date: March 01 2016
Location: Tamagawa Daishi Temple
Address: Setagaya, Tokyo,
Shishi Matsuri
Lion dance festival

Date: March 01 2016
Location: Nagasaki Shrine
Address: Toshima, Tokyo,
Takigi Noh
Open-air torchlight Noh performance

Date: March 01 2016
Location: Zojoji Temple
Address: Minato, Tokyo,
Yayoi Matsuri
Yayoi Matsuri is held in Taito Ward of Tokyo near the Sensoji Temple. The Yayoi Matsuri celebrates the Edo Shobo Kinen-kai (Edo Civilian Fire Fighters' Association).

Date: March 01 2016
Location: Taito
Address: Taito, Tokyo,
Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri
Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri, the Azalea Festival, celebrates the blooming of the azalea and in particular those around the Nezu Shrine in Bunkyu Ward. Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri includes several highlights; during the afternoon of the 8th of April there is a parade which includes Mikoshi (portable shrine) and on the afternoon of the 29th/30th there is a performance which includes Taiko drums and folk dancing.

Date: April 07 2016
Location: Nezu Shrine
Address: Bunkyo, Tokyo,
Fuji Matsuri
Fuji Matsuri is the Wisteria festival, which celebrates the blooming of the wisteria flowers. Kameido Tenjin Shrine features some 100 wisteria plants spanning some 15 trellises, which makes for an amazing sight when they blossom.

Date: April 21 2016
Location: Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Address: Koto, Tokyo,
Kurayami Matsuri
Kurayami Matsuri translates as Darkness Festival or Black Night Festival is said to be one of the oldest festivals in the Kanto region. The festival was originally a courtship festival, however it was observed the married people were also using the cover of the night and festival to have extra marital activities. During the Meiji Era pressure from western visitors and missionaries lead authorities to change the festival to a more conservate evening based festival. Highlights of the week long festival include horse racing and masked dances (Fuchuu Hayashi) on May 4th and a procession of eight mikoshi (portable shrines) lead by large taiko drums on May 5th.

Date: April 30 2016
Location: Okunitama Shrine
Address: , Fuchu,
Kachiya Festival
The Kachiya Festival commemorates the prayers Fujiwara Hidesato made for victory over Taira no Masakado forces. Needless to say Fujiwara Hidesato won.

Date: May 05 2016
Location: Katori Shrine
Address: Koto, Tokyo,
Sanja Matsuri
Sanja Matsuri is a festival to honor the three men, Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari and Hajino Nakatomo, that founded Sensoji Temple. The festival features a parade which includes mikoshi (portable shrines), musicians and dancers. Sanja Matsuri is held on the third weekend in May each year (ending on the Monday), with the climax occurring on the Monday when the three mikoshi owned by the shrine appear.

Date: May 18 2016
Location: Asakusa jinja Shrine
Address: Taito, Tokyo,
Kanda Matsuri
Kanda Matsuri, also known as Kanda Festival is one of the major festivals in Tokyo and one of the three great Shinto festivals in Japan. On the Saturday the main event of the featival is a parade through the streets of Kanda, Nihonbashi, Otemachi and Marunouchi Districts which includes around one hundred mikoshi (portable shrines), floats, Shinto priests on horseback and hundreds of other people. The Kanda Matsuri is only conducted as a full festival every odd year on the weekend closest to the 15th of May. On the alternative years a smaller festival is held ending at Sanno Matsuri.

Date: May 20 2016
Location: Kanda Shrine
Address: Chiyoda, Tokyo,
Sanno Matsuri


Date: June 01 2016
Location: Hie Shrine
Address: Chiyoda, Tokyo,
Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai
Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai (Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival), also referred to as Fireworks Display on the Sumida River dates back to 1733. Now the fireworks are released in two locations, one near Imado and the other, between the Komagatabashi and the Umayabashi Bridges. Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival attracts crowds close to one million people. Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai is held on the last Saturday in July.

Date: July 30 2016
Location: Sumida
Address: Sumida, Tokyo,

Author: Craig Fryer

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