Guide and information of Japan travel, with Japanese festival, schedule, sanja matsuri, noh, fireworks, samurai parade and more.
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Festival 2017 (Heisei 29) and 2016 (Heisei 28)
Some pictures month-by-month event-by-event are available at this page (multilingual). Which month would you like to be in Asakusa, Tokyo? Let's also plan beautiful night, all of Fireworks Festivals are listed on this firework-festival page.
yabusame sakura cherry blossom asakusa sanja matsuri festival mikoshi
www.Yabusame www.Sakura Festival www.Sanja Matsuri
sumidagawa river firworks hanabi tokyo jidai matsuri samurai prade torinoichi good luck
Sumidagawa River Fireworks Tokyo Jidai Matsuri Torinoichi
JANUARY 2017 Rooster Year
1st : Hatsumoude
It is the first-shrine-visit of the New Year in Japan. Some people visit a Buddhist temple instead. Asakusa Jinja Shrine and Sensouji Temple have several millions of visitors over the three days, January 1st, 2nd and 3rd. It is only some percentage of 40 million people throughout the year.
7th : Daikon Matsuri
One of the 7 gods (kamisama) of Asakusa, Matsuchiyama Shouten, loves radish (daikon in Japanese).
8th : Tondo Yaki
Burning old to be re-born, let's get new year started in happiness at Torikoe Jinja starting 13:00 (1:00pm).
12th - 18th : Onza Hihou Daranie
Kaibyaku starting 06:00am sharp on the 12th with ALL of the Sensouji monks. It will continue 7 days to Kechigan (wish came true) at 17:00 - 18:00 on the last day, 18th.
FEBRUARY 2017
3rd : Setsubun-e
Male entertainers and celebrities (usually big Sumo wrestlers) who have tight bond to Asakusa, they throw roasted-soybeans to drive out evil spirits. Held at Sensouji Temple at 12:00 and 14:00. Also, Fukuju no mai (Jimai) => Seven gods of good fortune do dance at Sensouji Temple.
8th : Harikuyo-e
Memorial service for broken needles and pins at Sensouji Temple.
from 8th : Yushima Tenjin Shrine (#60)
Plum flower festival is held between February 8th and March 8th every year. Every Sunday 10:30AM starts Nodate (Tea Ceremony under beautiful flowers). Located short walk distance from Ueno station (south of Ueno park).
26th : Tokyo Marathon 2017
One of the largest mass races in Asia. About 36,500 marathon runners participate from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Shinjuku to Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba (via Asakusa). Are you also ready for the year 2020 Tokyo Olympic?
26th : Edo Nagashibina (#32)
This traditional ceremony is a seasonal event of early spring on Sumidagawa River to wish for children's good health by washing the sins of the body away on a river along with paper dolls. 12:00 noon to start right at the Azuma-bashi (bridge) near to the ferry pier.
MARCH 2017
until 8th : Yushima Tenjin Shrine (#60)
Plum flower festival is held between February 8th and March 8th every year. Every Sunday 10:30AM starts Nodate (Tea Ceremony under beautiful flowers). Located short walk distance from Ueno station (south of Ueno park).
16th, 17th, 18th and 19th (last 3 days for public view) : Art Fair Tokyo 2017
It is held in Tokyo Forum, one of the architectual building next to Tokyo station.
18th : Kinryu no mai (Jimai) and Honzon-Jigen-e and Hikan-Inari-Taisai
Dedicatory of golden dragon dance is performed in Sensouji Temple (even in the Water-Snake-Year), which is based on the legend that 1000 pine trees from the heavens suddenly appeared overnight near the temple on March 18th, AD628. Hourly performance at Asakusa Jinja (10AM, 11AM, 12NOON, 1PM, 2PM and 3PM) are worth visiting.
20th : Ueno Zoo
Free entrance for all day.
Late March till Early April : Sakura Matsuri all over Tokyo
The main event in spring is cherry blossom viewing. A lot of folks have parties under cherry trees in Sumidagawa Riverside Park and in Ueno Park. Best shot for Skytree (new Tokyo Tower) as well.
APRIL 2017
Early April : Sakura Festival
Sakura Cherry Blossom will be in full bloom in Ueno Park and along Sumida River. Japan style party! Then, Botan Peony Flower follows, usually in middle-late of April .
8th : Bussho-e (the birthday of Buddha)
The origin of course comes from Nepal and India (via Tibet, China, Korea, and via Sri Lanka, Myammer, Thailand). Here in Japan, also known as flower festival, high time to visit Sensouji temple.
9th : Edo Yoshiwara Oiran Docyu (Douchuu)
Beautiful Kimonos are walking in style in back street of Asakusa. Main parade starts 13:00 and 14:45. Taito-ku official page is here (ichiyou sakura matsuri).
9th : Shirasagi no Mai (Jimai)
The origin of this ceremonial dance is found in a historic picture scroll owned by Sensouji Temple, dressed in the traditional attire of Heian period and the costume that represents white herons.
15th : Yabusame
13:00 starts. Yabusame or the horseback archery had been practiced as a New Year event in the Edo period (now modern days, any month of the year). Yabusame takes place every year in Sumida Park. A parade will also take place from Denbouin Temple to Sumida Park.
not 29th but 30th due to bad weather : Naki Sumo (Zumou)
"Best cry, grow fast" as in Japanese saying (Nakuko hodo yoku sodatsu). Sumo wrestler tries to make your baby not smile but cry. Please bring yours?!
29th and 30th : Ryogoku Nigiwai Matsuri (#15)
Around Edo Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku. Sumo events as well. Please also refer to the map . Sumo wrestlers' dish called Chanko-nabe cannot be missed.
MAY 2017
4th : Ueno Zoo
Free entrance for all day.
5th : Takara no Mai
The treasure dance which celebrates the blessings and goodness of the Kannon, the treasure ship (called Takarabune) is pulled by children of kindergarden.
3rd, 4th and 5th : Saitama Bonsai Festival (#34)
DaiBonsaiMatsuri in Japanese is held in some 30km north of Ueno. Hikawa Shrine and Omiya Koen are worth visit along the Bonsai town.
5th, 6th and 7th (main day) : Shitaya Jinja Matsuri
This festival is as "hot" as Sanja Matsuri. The miniture shrines go around whole town.
13th and 14th : Kanda Myoujin
Just south of Akihabara, north of Imperial Palace. One of the top three matsuri festival in Tokyo.
19th, 20th and 21st (main day) : Sanja Matsuri
It is counted among the three great festivals originated in Edo and still remains as the important event of Tokyo. The excitement of the carriers of miniature shrines represents the energy of the capital city.
25th : Edo Shoubou ireisai
To pray for those who lost their lives in the line of their duties (as a fire fighter), traditional ceremony inherited from Edo period, held at Sensouji Temple in Asakusa.
25th : GojotenJinja
With o-mikoshi portable shrine "swerving" around the town, Ueno area will be very excited.
26th, 27th and 28th : Monomachi (Craftmanship Festival) #9
Desingers' Village (reform of former abandoned primary school), 2k540, many other hand-made-craft-shops between Kuramae and Okachimachi, just south of Asakusa. Traditional spirits of Shitamachi (Shi-ta-ma-chi).
JUNE 2017
3rd and 4th : Kuramae Jinja Festival
Every two years, and yes on 2017 (^^) Kuramae Jinja Shrine was originated in 1693, the time of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. Short walk from Asakusa, Tawaramachi. K's House is just around a corner. One of the Sumo origin temples in Edo era.
10th and 11th : Torikoe Matsuri
Torikoe Jinja Shrine holds a festival and its highlight of outstanding Mikoshi which is known as the heaviest (it weighs 4,000kg!) one in Tokyo. Lanterns are hung on the Mikoshi and it returns to ths shrine surrounded by highly held lanterns.
6th - 17th : Hie Jinja San-noh Matsuri (main called Jinko-sai held every 2 years, not 2017 and yes 2018)
Main day is 10th called Jinko-sai (Junko route is shown). One of the 3 biggest Edo festival in Tokyo. Other 2? They are Kanda and Tomioka (Fukagawa). Official jinja website is here at this page.
17th and 18th : Mishima Jinja Reitaisai
Locate in Shitaya area of Taito-ku, about 15 - 20 minutes nice walk from Tokyo Ryokan.
18th : Yasaki Inari Jinja
Tokyo Ryokan is short walking distance for Sanja Matsuri, Kuramae Jinja Festival, Torikoe Matsuri and Yasaki Inari Jinja. May and June are always fun in traditional way. Matsuri = Festival (^^)
24th and 25th : Ofuji-san Ueki-ichi at Sengen Jinja in Asakusa
Bonsai and plants fan gather every year at this Asakusa Shrine.
last week of June : Chinowa Kuguri at each shrine
Many shrines of downtown Tokyo hold this sacred event throughout the week. Torikoe, Yasaki Inari, Shitaya, Asakusa, Imado and more here in Taito-ku.
JULY 2017
1st : Torikoe Suijosai
At around 10:00AM starting from YanagiBashi on Sumida River (Ookawa). YaKuYoKe for the river.
7th, 8th and 9th : Shonan-Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (#67)
One of the biggest Tanabata festivals held in Kanto, south of Yokohama, actually near to Kamakura, about 1 hour train ride from Tokyo.
from 6th to 10th (8th and 9th are the main days) : Shitamachi Tanabata Festival (#30)
Star festival is held in Kappabashi-hon dori street. People decorate branches of bamboo with strips of paper and write their wishes on them.
6th, 7th and 8th : iriya Asagao Matsuri
Started in the Edo period. This Morning Glory (Asagao) Festival attracts about 400,000 visitors every year to Iriya Kishibojin Temple. It is one of the seasonal charms of summer.
9th and 10th : Hoozuki Ichi (Shiman Rokusen Nichi)
About 250 stalls will ne set up to sell ground cherry pods and wind-bells within the Sensouji Temple grounds. People in Yukata stroll around the temple and the air will be filled with festive atmpsphere touched by the breezy sound of wind-bells.
22nd : Ueno Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival) or this announcement by city hall
Main event and parade are held on this day but whole Matsuri (Festival) is going on from mid-July to early-August.
22nd and 23rd : HandMade in Japan Fes 2016
60,000 creaters are gathered at Tokyo Big Sight.
29th : Sumidagawa River Fireworks Festival (#40)
It is one of the largest and most famous fireworks festival in downtown Tokyo. In addition to the display of traditional fireworks, the program also includes a competitive presentation of various new styles created by Japan's top class fireworks craftsmen (in the festival site 1 near Sakura Bridge area).
AUGUST 2017
5th : UENO JAZZ INN'17
At the open-air-stage along Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park. 15:30 - 20:00.
11th, 12th and 13th : Comiket (Comic Market 92)
Manga, Anime, Doujinshi, Comic fan must gather at Tokyo Big Sight, please!
12th? : Tourou Nagashi
Pray for peace. Your warm thoughts flow back into mother nature, Pacific Ocean and onwards (to whole universe). Tourou Nagashi will be taken place along Sumida River, next to Asakusa station.
15th : BanreiTourouKuyoue
ShuusenKinenBi, the 15th of August 1945.
18th and 19th : Shimokitazawa Awaodori (#52)
It is the collaboration of Tokyo and Tokushima of Shikoku island (famous for the 88 temples). One of the best summer authentic festival.
25th? : Kameido Tenjin Reitaisai and Kentoumyou
Truly Japanese, no modern but traditional Matsuri festival. Not far from Asakusa and/or Tokyo Skytree.
26th and 27th : Kouenji Awaodori (#61)
It is the collaboration of Tokyo and Tokushima of Shikoku island (famous for the 88 temples). One of the best summer authentic festival. 17:00- 20:00.
26th and 27th : Harajuku Yosakoi (2017)
It is the collaboration of Tokyo and Kochi (Kouchi) of Shikoku island (famous for the 88 temples). One of the best summer creative festival.
26th : Asakusa Samba Carnival (#36)
It is a popular summer "tradition" in Asakusa. The highlight of the event is a spectacular parade of dancers in colorful costumes, including those from Brazil, the birthplace of samba, origin of the passion. 13:00 - 18:00 on Kaminarimon-dori, parade goes from east to west. 500,000 people watch dancers hot in the air.
SEPTEMBER 2017
1st, 2nd and 3rd : Tokyo Jazz Festival (#16)
It is a popular autumn festival in downtown Tokyo. Together with this, Asakusa has HUB for your Jazz Life. Subtone is highly recommended for Suntory Whisky next to Tokyo Ryokan. In Nishi-Asakusa, there is also Jazz Tempura shop.
5th : Taito Takigi Noh (#38)
Fire or Takigi displayed beside the stage makes you feel some special sort of spirits while the Noh performance is held. This will be taken place at Asakusa Sensouji Temple.
16th? - October 1st? : Asakusa Tourou-e (#11)
Tourou-Nagashi (lantern boat) is available at Sumida river. The lantern light leads you to the spiritual world, very romantic, very oriental. You just need Rokumonsen (JPY6) to cross the river to nirvana. Let's not possess too much, dis-attachment is the way to live, well, death is helpful to understand life.
21st, 22nd as well as 23rd, 24th : Tokyo Game Show TGS 2017
Held in Makuhari Messe in Chiba, not far from Tokyo Disney Resort.
21st? : Nezu Jinja Shrine Festival
This area (Nezu) is one of the traditional atmosphere remained district called YaNeSen (Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi) of downtown Tokyo. And Google map is here. Nice walking through Yanaka in Taito-ku from Asakusa. Mini bus can do at JPY100 a ride (Megurin Bus).
OCTOBER 2016
1st - 31st (whole month) : Kichijoji Neko Festival (necofes)
The town is popular for Ghibli Museum and Inokashira Park by both human beings and cats!
1st : Ueno Zoo
Free entrance for all day.
4th - 10th (main event on 9th and 10th) : Kappabashi Matsuri (#33)
Japanese drum will be performed at 11:00, 13:20 and 15:20 on Kappabashi Dougu Gai Street in Asakusa on the 10th National Holiday. Some cafe to relax? This page shall do.
8th and 9th : Tsukiji Autumn Festival
You don't need to visit every ports of Japan islands, but fish market of each area (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and more) will be gathered and opened here at Tsukiji Fish Market!
15th and 16th : Nezu Sendagi Shi-ta-ma-chi Festival (#18)
Very local touch, traditional and small matsuri held in Nezu (one of Ya-Ne-Sen area). Yanaka (one of Ya-Ne-Sen area which is Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi) is great place to get yourself lost in good way.
18th : Kinryu no mai (Jimai) and Kiku Kuyou e
Dedicatory of golden dragon dance is performed in Sensouji Temple, which is based on the legend that 1000 pine trees from the heavens suddenly appeared overnight near the temple on March 18th, 628. Chrysanthemum, Kiku in Japanese, has special meaning to Japanese hearts. Most seen flower in grave yards, and of course on front page of Japanese passports.
23th : Nihonbashi Kyobashi Festival (#44)
Tradional festival shows from all over Japan. This year shows Tokushima, Gunma, Miyagi, Okinawa, Iwate, Kagoshima, Yamagata, Toyama and Ishikawa on the blocked Chuo dori avenue (car free street).
NOVEMBER 2016
3rd : Shirasagi no mai (Jimai)
The origin of this ceremonial dance is found in a historic picture scroll owned by Sensouji Temple, dressed in the traditional attire of Heian period and the costume that represents white herons.
October 15th till November 15th : Asakusa Kikukaten
Chrysanthemum, Kiku in Japanese, has special meaning to Japanese hearts. Most seen flower in grave yards, and of course on front page of Japanese passports.
11th and 23rd : Torino Ichi
It is an annual traditional festival held at shrines and temples nationwide on set days (rooster days) in November to wish good luck and business prosperity, both days from 00:00 - 24:00 (24 hours! each day). Usually 2 times, not like last year which had 3 times (ichi no tori, ni no tori, san no tori).
26th and 27th : Design Festa (#44)
All about design at Tokyo Big Sight (Odaiba).
DECEMBER 2016
17th and 18th : Hakidaore Ichi
Shoes festival. Great bargain to satisfy your feet and legs.
17th, 18th and 19th : Hagoita Ichi
About 50 venders gather at Sensouji Temple to sell a variety of colorful hagoita (wooden paddles) from ornamental ones to those for children to play with. Authentic Kabuki actors and popular celebrities are among the themes featured on the decorative hagoita.
29th, 30th and 31st : Comiket (Comic Market 91)
Manga, Anime, Doujinshi, Comic fan must gather at Tokyo Big Sight, please!
31st : New Year count down
108 ding-dongs to get into Nirvana. Here's got some further links.
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