3 Japanese traditional festivals you can enjoy in May in central Tokyo

Looking for festivals you can go in May in Tokyo?

We will introduce major festivals you can experience Japanese traditional culture!!

Sanja Festival 三社祭-Sanja Matsuri

This is one of the most famous Shinto festivals in Tokyo. The festival lasts 3days, from the 3rd Friday to Sunday of MAY every year.
Asakusa Shrine (浅草神社:Asakusa jinja) is located next to Senso-ji temple (浅草寺).

What you must see is gorgeous Mikoshi (神輿-portable shrine) on the last day of the festival.
Local people carry out from Asakusa Shrine at 6:00AM, march around the city and bring Mikoshi back to the shrine in the evening. It is very much energetic and you can feel authentic power of how much local people have been passing on generation to generation.

Number of people visited Sanja Festival in 2017 was 2,030,000 for 3days!

Festival Schedule:
2018 May 18-20
2019 May 17-19
2020 May 15-17

Address: Asakusa 2chome3-1, Taito-ku,Tokyo111-0032
Tel: +81 3 3844 1575

Kanda Festival 神田祭-Kanda Matsuri

Kanda festival is held every other year at Kandamyosin (神田明神). The last one in 2017 so the next one will be in 2019.

Until middle of Edo-江戸 (old name of Tokyo) period, around 1673 - 1681, the festival had been originally held every year.
There were only two Mikoshi (神輿-portable shrine), from Kandamyojin and Sannno Shrine to allowed to go into the Edo castle. But to avoid any too much intentional competition between 2 shrines, they are held alternate year.
About 100years ago, Mikoshi parades last a week to bring luck to every single local districts.
It is now turn into one day parade, but still remain the same Edo spirit.

Address: SotoKanda 2chome16-2, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo101-0021
Tel: +81 3 3254 0753

Spring Grand Festival 春の大祭

MeijiJingu Shrine (明治神宮) will hold Shinto style ceremonies, The 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration. This is a great opportunity to watch Japanese traditional dance (能-Noh,狂言-Kyogen) instrumental (三曲-Sankyoku, 邦楽-Hogaku) at the same time.

The festival is open to public. You may not only enjoy walking around the shrine, but enjoy seasonal colourful flowers such as Azalea, Wisteria, Chionanthus retusa (fringe tree) and so on.

Here is a schedule for main performances.

April 28, 11:00AM ~ Bugaku (舞楽) Japanese ancient imperial court music

May 2,    11:45AM ~ Noh (能),Kyogen (狂言)

May 2,    15:45AM ~ Sankyoku (三曲)

May 3,    09:00AM ~ Kyudo Competition (弓道) Japanese archery

May 3,    12:00PM ~ Hogaku (邦楽) Japanese traditional music

May 3,    14:30PM ~ Satsuma BIWA (薩摩琵琶) *

*Satsuma Biwa is one of Japanese ancient music.
It was originally created for Samurai warrior education purpose and had developed along with history.

Address: Yoyogi Kamizonocho1-1, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo151-8557
Tel: +81 3 3379 5511


Have fun in Tokyo!