Tokyo has plenty of events in the fall to enjoy. Here are 6 recommendations of fall festivals to check out.
1. Nezu Shrine Annual Festival
Nezu Shrine is a shrine that is said to have been built 1,900 years ago, and the Nezu Shrine Annual Festival is one of the top three festivals of Edo (the ancient name for Tokyo). Dances like the Sanza-no-mai (registered as an intangible cultural property with the ward) and Urayasu-mai are performed, and on the grounds many stalls are set up so you can enjoy a true festival experience. Also, the shrine buildings are must-sees since they are registered as national important cultural properties.
Will be held on September 17 (Saturday) and 18 (Sunday) in 2016
2. Nezu - Sendagi Shitamachi Matsuri
There's another festival at Nezu Shrine you should watch for. Every year the Nezu - Sendagi Shitamachi Matsuri is held in the fall. Nezu Shrine is the main area, and you can enjoy product exhibitions, flea markets, as well as Japanese drum performances. In the sub-areas, there are various events like kappore (traditional Japanese comic dance) or markets. This festival is great because you can feel the deep roots of the working class neighborhoods that still remain.
Will be held October 15 (Saturday) and 16 (Sunday) in 2016
3. Fukuro Matsuri
Fukuro Matsuri is a festival held in the entire neighborhood focusing on the area outside of the west exit of Ikebukuro Station. Every year, it starts with a pre-festival at the end of September, in which there are taiko drum shows and a parade of around 30 mikoshi. In the evening, local mikoshi are gathered for a huge parade that's the climax of the weekend, and there's a mikoshi festival that decorates the ending, complete with a performance of the Okinawan eisa.
At the beginning of October, they hold a dance festival, and you can enjoy various performances including hula. About 100 teams from around the country participate in the Tokyo Yosakoi Contest, which is very popular.
Will be held on September 24 (Saturday), 25 (Sunday), October 8 (Saturday) and 9 (Sunday) in 2016
4. Shibadai Shrine Daradara Matsuri
This is a festival held from September 11th to the 21st at Shibadai Shrine. The 16th is the main ritual day of this reiteisai, and they offer dances and bugaku (traditional court dance and music) to the deities. In the past, they used to sell raw ginger (""shouga"" in Japanese) here, so it's also known as Shouga-shi. The 11 day period is during a period of a lot of rain, so since it continues for a long time it was named the ""Daradara Matsuri"" after the phrase ""daradara,"" meaning ""trickling."" Also, this shrine is known for being good for luck in relationships/marriage and success in business, so you should definitely visit.
Will be held from September 11 (Sunday) to 21 (Wednesday) in 2016
5. Shinagawa Shukuba Matsuri
Shinagawa originally flourished as an inn town at one of the stations of the Tokaido highway, a road during the Edo period (1603 - 1868) made up of 53 spots.
This festival is held over 2km, from Yatsuyama in northern Shinagawa to Aomono Yokocho in southern Shinagawa. During this festival they hold parades of people wearing clothing from the Edo period. On the first day it's the oiran dochu (people dressed as courtesans), and on the 2nd day it's the Edo fuzoku gyouretsu (a parade of people dressed in various roles). There are also various other events that are held as part of this large festival.
Will be held on September 24 (Saturday) and 25 (Sunday) in 2016
6. Ohmiya Hachiman Matsuri (Autumn Grand Festival)
This is an autumnal festival held from September 15th (Thursday) to 19th (Monday, public holiday) at Ohmiya Hachimangu. On Saturday and Sunday around 120 stalls open on the wide grounds. At 6:00 pm on the 18th, mikoshi from each participating area gather for a spectacle. It's recommended that you visit that Sunday evening so you can enjoy both the mikoshi and street food from the stalls.
Will be held from September 15 (Thursday) to 19 (Monday, public holiday)
Please use this information to enjoy visiting autumnal festivals where you can get your fill of both Japanese culture and food!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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