Get Into the Summer Spirit with Tokyo's "Three Great Festivals of Edo"
In Japan, Summer Is the Season of Traditional Festivals and Fireworks!
Kanda Festival: One of Japan's Big 3
Many festivals of all sizes include processions where teams of locals will carry portable shrines, "mikoshi" (神輿), on their shoulders. These little shrines are usually lavishly decorated and beautiful, and they are definitely very heavy, but they have to be small enough that groups of people can carry them. The Kanda Festival also includes larger versions around the size of a car! The smaller mikoshi and the larger parade-floats make their way through the streets of Tokyo, guided by enthusiastic festival participants. Traditionally the Kanda Festival and Sanno Festival are both biennial festivals, and alternate years! This year (2019) the Kanda Festival has already begun, but you can start planning for 2021 now!
- Image Source: Kanda Festival Official Website
Event Dates: May 9, 2019 ~ May 15, 2019
Location: Kanda Shrine, 2 Chome-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Access: 5 min. walk from Ochanomizu Station or Shinochanomizu Station. 7 min. walk from Akihabara Station.
Sanno Festival: Richly Ornamented and Beautiful
Event Dates: June 7 ~ June 17
Location: Hie Shrine, 2 Chome-10-5 Nagatacho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Access: 5 min. walk from Kokkaigijidomae Station, 8 min. walk from Akasaka Station or Akasakamitsuke Station
Fukagawa Hachiman Festival: The "Water Splashing Festival"
- Image Source: Go Tokyo
Fukagawa Hachiman Festival
Event Dates: usually around August 15th (dates not yet announced)
Location: Tomioka Hachiman Shrine, 1 Chome-20-3 Tomioka, Koto City, Tokyo
Access: 3 min. walk from Monzen Nakacho Station, 15 min. walk from Ecchujima Station
- Image Source: Asakusa Shrine Official Website
(If you're reading this article right when it comes out, you have time to make it to Asakusa's Sanja Festival. It may not be one of the "Great Festivals" of Tokyo, but in our hearts it's top 3 worthy! Definitely worth a look if you're in Tokyo.)
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