Guide and information of Japan travel, with Japanese festival, schedule, sanja matsuri, noh.
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2018 (Heisei 30) and 2019 (Heisei 31 / Xxxxx 1)
Some pictures month-by-month event-by-event are available at this page (multilingual). Which month would you like to be in Tokyo? 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 2019
1st : Hatsumoude
It is the first-shrine-visit of the New Year in Japan. Some people visit a Buddhist temple instead of Shinto shrine. 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 (kami sama in Japanese) of Asakusa, Matsuchiyama Shouden, loves radish (daikon in Japanese). Starts 11:00am.
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) just south of Asakusa.
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 (5:00pm - 6:00pm) on the last day, 18th.
February 2018
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. Helt at Sensouji Temple at 12:00 and 14:00 (2:00pm).
8th : Harikuyo-e
Memorial service for broken needles and pins at Sensouji Temple.
from 8th : Yushima tenjin Shrine (#61)
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.
25th : Tokyo Marathon 2018
One of the largest mass races in Asia. About 36,500 runners paticipate from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Square in Shinjuku to Imperial Palace next to Tokyo main station (via Asakusa and Ginza). Are you also ready for the year 2020 Tokyo Olympic?
25th : Edo Nagashibina (#33)
This traditional ceremony is a seasonal event of early spring on Sumidagawa (Sumida river) to widh 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 (Azuma-bridge) near to the ferry pier.
March 2018
until 8th : Yushima tenjin Shrine (#61)
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.
9th, 10th, 11th : Art Fair Tokyo 2018
It is held in Tokyo Forum, one of the must-visit architectual building next to Tokyo station.
18th : Kinryu no mai (Jimai) and Honzon-Jigen-e and Mikoshi Up and Down
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 over night near the temple on March 18th AD628. Hourly performance at Asakusa Jinja 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 people have parties under cherry trees in Sumidagawa Riverside Park and in Ueno Park. Best shot for Skytree (new Tokyo Tower) as well.
April 2018
Early April : Sakura Festival
Sakura Cherry Blossom will be in full bloom in Ueno Park and along Sumida River. Japan style party all over downtown. Then, Botan Peony Flower follows.
8th : Bussho-e (the birthday of Buddha)
The origin of course comes from Nepal and Inida (via Tibet, China, Korea, and via Sri Lanka, Myammer, Thailand). Here in Japan, also known as flower festival, high time to visit Sensouji Temple.
8th : 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.
14th : Edo Yoshiwara Oiran Docyu (Douchuu)
Beautiful Kimonos are walking in style in back street of Asakusa. Main parade starts 13:00 (1:00pm) and 14:45 (2:25pm). Taito-ku offical page is here (ichiyou sakura matsuri).
16th : Yasukuni Shrine Sumo (HonoZumo)
9:00am-15:00 (3:00pm). Admission free of charge.
21st : Yabusame
13:00 (1:00pm) 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, you may practice. In Asakusa, it takes place every year in Sumida Park. A parade will also arrange from Denbouin Temple to Sumida Park.
21st, 22nd, 23rd : Yasukuni Shrine Shunki Reitaisai
Most important event at the shrine, just north of the Imperial Palace.
28th and 29th : Ryogoku Nigiwai Matsuri (#16)
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 2018
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 childrens of kindergarden in Sensouji Temple.
3rd, 4th, 5th : Saitama Bonsai Festibal (#35)
DaiBonsaiMatsuri in Japanese is held in some 30km north of Ueno. Hikawa Shrine and Omiya Koen are worth visiting along the Bonsai town.
11th, 12th, 13th (main day) : Shitaya Jinja Matsuri
This festival is as "hot" as Sanja Matsuri. The miniture shrines called Omikoshi go around whole town.
15th : Kanda Myoujin
Just south of Akihabara, north of Imperial Palace. One of the top three matsuri festival in Tokyo. Every 2 years, not 2018 but yes 2019.
18th, 19th, 20th (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, 26th, 27th (main day) : Yushima Jinja Shrine
It is popular like Sanja Matsuri Festival. South of Ueno is hot this Sunday!
25th, 26th, 27th : MonoMachi (Craftmanship Festival) #10
Desingers' Village (reform of former abandoned primary school), 2k540, many other hand-made-craft-shops located between Kuramae and Okachimachi, just south of Asakusa. Traditional spirits of ShiTaMaChi (downtown).
June 2018
2nd and 3rd : Susanoo Jinja Festival
Every 3 years, and 2018 is the one, not far from Adachi Fish Market, just 3km north of Asakusa.
2nd and 3rd : Kuramae Jinja Festival
Every 2 years, not on 2018 but yes 2019. 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.
9th and 10th : Torikoe Matsuri
Torikoe Jinja Shrine holds a festival and its highlight of outstanding Mikoshi which is known as the heaviest (it weights 4000kg!) one in Tokyo. Lanterns are hung on the Mikoshi and it returns to this shrine surrounded by highly held lanterns.
6th - 17th : Hie Jinja SanNoh Matsuri, main called JinkoSai
Every 2 years, yes 2018 not 2019. Main day is 10th called JinkoSai. One of the three biggest Edo festival in Tokyo. Other 2? They are Kanda and Tomioka (Fukagawa). Offical Jinja website is here at this page.
16th and 17th : Mishima Jinja Reitaisai
Located in ShiTaYa area of Taito-ku, about 15 - 20 minutes nice walk from Tokyo Ryokan.
17th : Yasaki Inari Jinja
Tokyo Ryokan is short walking distance for Sanja Matsuri, Kuramae Jinja Festival, Torikoe Matsuri and this Yasaki Inari Jinja. May and June are always fun in traditional way. Matsuri = Festival (^^)
30th (and July 1st) : 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 2018
(June 30th) and 1st : Ofuji-san Ueki-ichi at Sengen Jinja in Asakusa
Bonsai and plants fan gather every year at this Asakusa Shrine.
1st : Torikoe Suijosai
At around 10:00am starting from YanagiBashi on Sumida river (Ookawa). YaKuYoKe for the river.
6th, 7th, 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.
6th, 7th, 8th : Shonan-Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (#68)
One of the biggest Tanabata festivals held in Kanto region, south of Yokohama, actually near to Kamakura, about 1 hour train ride from Tokyo.
7th and 8th : HandMade in Japan Fes 2018
60,000 creaters are gathered at Tokyo Big Sight.
7th and 8th : ShiTaMaChi Tanabata Festival (#31)
Star festival is held in Kappabashi hon dori street. People decorate branches of bamboo with strips of paper and write their wishes on them. Only 1 minuted walk from Tokyo Ryokan.
8th and 9th : Hoozuki ichi (Shiman Rokusen Nichi)
About 250 stalls will be 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 atmosphere touched by the breezy sound of wind-bells.
13th, 14th, 15th, 16th : Mitama Matsuri at Yasukuni Shrine
30,000 lanterns light up Tokyo's night.
21st : 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.
28th : Sumidagawa River Fireworks Festival (#41)
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 homepage, site 1 near Sakura Bridge area).
August 2018
4th : UENO JAZZ INN'18
At the open-air-stage along Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park. 15:30 (3:30pm) - 20:00 (8:00pm).
4th and 5th : Design Festa Summer 2018
All about design at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba.
10th, 11th, 12th : Comiket (Comic Market 94)
Manga, Anime, Doujinshi, Comic fan must gather at Tokyo Big Sight, please!
11th : 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.
11, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th : TomiokaHachiman Reitaisai
Truly Japanese, and the year 2018 is the one after the CURSE ....... yes, they decided to go ahead despite. Please not miss this chance. Not far from Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena.
15th : BanreiTourouKuyoue
ShuusenKinenBi, the 15th of August 1945.
18th and 19th : Shimokitazawa Awaodori (#53)
It is the collaboration of Tokyo and Tokushima of Shikoku island (famous for the 88 temples). One of the best summer authentic festival held in downtown.
25th and 26th : Kouenji Awaodori (#62)
It is the collaboration of Tokyo and Tokushima of Shikoku island (famous for the 88 temples). One of the best summer authentic festival held in downtown. 17:00 (5:00pm) - 20:00 (8:00pm).
25th and 26th : Harajuku Yosakoi (2018)
It is the collaboration of Tokyo and Kochi (Kouchi) of Shikoku islannd (famous for the 88 temples). One of the best summer creative dancing festival.
25th : Asakusa Samba Carnival (#37)
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 (1:00pm) - 18:00 (6:00pm) on Kaminarimon-dori, parade goes from east to west. 500,000 people watch dancers hot in the air.
September 2018
(August 31st) 1st and 2nd : Tokyo Jazz Festival (#17)
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 back of Tokyo Ryokan in NishiAsakusa, there is also Jazz Tempura restaurant nearby.
4th : Taito Takigi Noh (#39)
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.
15th - 29th (every night until 21:30) : Asakusa Tourousai
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.
15th, 16th, 17th and 21st : Nezu Jinja Reisai
The area called Nezu is one of the traditional atmosphere remained district, YaNeSen (Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi) of downtown Tokyo. And Google Map is here.
22nd and 23rd : Tokyo Game Show TGS 2018
Held in Makuhari Messe in Odaiba in Chiba, not far from Tokyo Disney Resort.
October 2018
1st : Ueno Zoo
Free entrance for all day.
2nd - 8th (main event on 8th) : Kappabashi Matsuri (#35)
Japanese drum will be performed at 11:00am, 13:20 (1:20pm) and 15:15 (3:15pm) on Kappabashi Dougu Gai Street in Asakusa on main event day. Some cafe to relax? This page has there.
20th and 21st : Nezu Sendagi ShiTaMaChi Festival (#20)
Very local touch, traditional and small matsuri held in Nezu, one of YaNeSen (Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi) area. Yanaka is great place to get yourself lost in good way.
17th, 18th, 19th, 20th : Yasukuni Shrine Shuki Reitaisai
Most important event at the shrine, just north of the Imperial Palace.
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 AD628. 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.
from 26th (until November 4th) : Kanda Jimbouchou Book Matsuri
One of the biggest book fair and festival held in Japan.
28th : Nihonbashi Kyobashi Festival (#46)
Traditional festival shows from all over Japan. This year shows Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Gunma, Toyama, Ishikawa, Tokushima, Okinawa on the blocked Chuo dori avenue (car free street).
November 2018
3rd : Shirasagi no mai (Jimai)
The origin of this cemonial 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 26th) - 4th : Kanda Jimbouchou Book Matsuri
One of the biggest book fair and festival held in Japan.
(October 15th) - 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.
1st, 13th, 25th : Torino ichi
It is an annual traditional festival held at shrines and temples nationwide on set days of rooster according to Zodiac Calendar to wish good luck and business prosperity. From 12:00 mid night (0:00am) to 24:00 (12:00pm) yes, 24 hours each day. Usually 2 times in November, some year has 3 times in the same month called ichi no tori, ni no tori, san no tori, watch out for fire break out!
10th and 11th : Design Festa (vol.48)
All about design at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba.
Last Saturday and Last Sunday : Tamahime Inari Jinja Shoes Festival
All about shoes, festival and flea market.
December 2018
16th and 17th : Hakidaore ichi
Another shoes festival. Great bargain to satisfy your feet and legs along with onsen hot spring.
17th, 18th, 19th : Hagoita ichi
About 50 venders gather at Sensouji Temple to sell a variety of colorful hagoita = wooden paddies from ornamental ones to those for children to play with. Authentic Kabui actors and popular celebrities are among the themes featured on the decorative hagoita = wooden paddies.
29th, 30th, 31st : Comiket (Comic Market 95)
Manga, Anime, Doujinshi, Comic fan must gather at Tokyo Big Sight, please!
31st : New Year Count Down (Joya no kane)
108 dingdongs to get into Nirvana. Honganji Temple just next to Tokyo Ryokan can do at first-comes-first-dings (^^)
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