Asakusa's Sanja Festival Is Almost Upon Us! Act Fast!

Tokyo Culture Asakusa 2019.05.14
This Japanese festival happens every spring, and it's about to start!

A Traditional Japanese Festival in Asakusa, Tokyo

Today we're talking about Sanja Festival, also known as Sanja Matsuri (三社祭), or the festival of three shrines. It's a yearly event centered around Asakusa, in eastern Tokyo, and it's a pretty big deal in the area!

Also, if you're reading this article right around the time it's published, and you're in Tokyo... the festival is this weekend! From Friday the 17th to Sunday the 19th, 2019.

Asakusa Sanja Festival
Event Dates: May 17 ~ May 19
Location: Asakusa Shrine
Access: Asakusa Station
Official Website

Sanja Festival: A Fun Part of a Summer Trip to Tokyo!

While the festival is based at the Asakusa Shrine, like many traditional Japanese festivals, a large part of it is a parade or procession of participants walking the streets of the Asakusa neighborhood. On their shoulders these participants carry mikoshi (神輿), or portable shrines, decked out in beautiful gold and fabric decorations. They glitter in the sunlight and they're beautiful to watch slowly carried along the street. Watching the parade is so popular, it attracts almost 2 million people every year! Join the crowd and hang out with tons of Tokyoites and visitors alike.

Things to See:

1. The Mikoshi Shrine Procession

2. Traditional Binzazara Dances

Image Source: Official Website

3. The Surrounding Stalls and Festivities

Image Source: Official Website

Are you ready to get out there this weekend?

Head to the Sanja Festival to get a good sense of Japanese summer festivals, but beat the miserable humidity and heat of mid-summer. It's a perfect chance to see the beautiful mikoshi procession that accompanies many of Japan's festivals, along with a more unique binzazara (traditional Japanese instrument) dance. So throw on a yukata and get out there, you won't find a more exciting way to spend a part of your weekend!

(Once you're in Asakusa, if you want another unique experience, go kitchen knife shopping at Tsubaya!)


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⇩ Get a preview of the festival right here! ⇩

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