Sanno Matsuri Festival in Tokyo
The Sanno Matsuri is famous as a festival permitted by the Shogun to enter the grounds of Edo Castle during the Edo Period(1603-1867), along with the Kanda Matsuri. It was also one of the three largest festivals of Japan.
The main procession called jinkosai takes place in the middle of June in every other year according to the Western calendar.
The climax of the festival is a jubilant procession towards the shrine, in which 200 portable shrines and numerous floats are paraded through over 108 towns and 30 kilometers. Tourists will not want to miss this colorful and culturally enriching celebration.
About 300 people dressed in ancient costumes parade through the heart of Tokyo including Tokyo Station, Ginza, and in front of the Diet Building.
The procession leaves Hie Shrine at 8 a.m. and goes to Kokuritsu Gekijo (National Theater), Sakashitamon Gate in the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Station, Nihonbashi Hie Shrine, Kyobashi, Ginza and Shinbashi and returns to Hie Shrine at 5 p.m.
This procession takes place around June 15 every other year (even years, so be sure to be present next year).
Consisting of mikoshi (portable shrines) adorned with a phoenix on the roof, dashi floats, people carrying drums, people on horseback, the procession extends over a length of 600 meters.
You will also see people dressed as the legendary goblin called Tengu, characterized by a red face and a long nose, and believed to possess supernatural powers.
Other than this procession, lots of traditional events are held at Hie Shrine, such as tea ceremonies and Shinto music and dance performances.
Sanno Matsuri Festival is one of the three greatest Shinto festivals in Tokyo alongside Kanda Matsuri Festival and Sanja Matsuri Festival. It’s also one of the three greatest festivals in Japan alongside Kyoto Gion Matsuri and Osaka Tenjin Matsuri.
Place : Hie-jinja Shrine
Website : http://www.asakusajinja.jp/sanjamatsuri/
Arrive from : 5 minutes by walk from Subway Chiyoda Line Kokkaigijido-mae Station
3 minutes by walkd from Subway Ginza/Nanboku Line Akasakamitsuke Station.