New Year’s first visit in 2023, Tokyo

Happy New Year! New Year’s Day in Tokyo was a peaceful start to the year. After visiting my guardian shrine nearby, then I visited Meiji Jingu shrine and Asakusa Sensoji-temple, to see how many people have come back for New Year’s visits this year. Meiji Jingu in the early afternoon seemed to be a little shorter than it used be before COVID-19, but there were still long lines of people looking forward to the new year. Passing through the first torii made of brand-new cedar, which was rebuilt last July for the first time in about 100 years, and enter … Continue reading New Year’s first visit in 2023, Tokyo

Bon Odori dance festivals

Bon Odori dance festivals were held here and there in Tokyo in this summer. Many festivals have been canceled for two years due to the COVID19, and the first time in three years. I visited Nakano bon-odori festival, one of the biggest festivals in Tokyo. Before arriving the place, I was thinking just to watch the festival, but the rhythm of the dance song naturally moves the body. It’s nice to be able to easily remember dances with simple pattern, such as Tokyo Ondo and Tanko Bushi, and feel free to participate. However, I couldn’t dance Kawachi Ondo as well … Continue reading Bon Odori dance festivals

Otaue, rice planting, festival at Isasumi Shrine, Aizu

Isasumi Shrine, the Chief Shinto shrine for the former Iwashiro province located in Aizu-misato popular by annual otaue, or rice planting, Shinto ritual praying good harvest. Aizu-Misato is historic town in a quiet rural landscape located just west of Aizu-Wakamatsu, which is famous for Tsuruga Castle well-known by Boshin War at the end of Edo era. The rice planting festival at Isasumi Shrine is a traditional ritual that has continued since the Edo period. This ritual festival consists of many events including Singh chasing and Mikoshi togyo, parade of portable shrine by local children and adults between main building of … Continue reading Otaue, rice planting, festival at Isasumi Shrine, Aizu

Tanabata, Star Festival in Hiratsuka

Hiratsuka, which has a beautiful beach on the Shonan coast in Kanagawa, is also known for hosting one of the largest Tanabata festivals in the Kanto region. Tanabata also known as the Star Festival is a Japanese festival, originating from the  famous Chinese folklore story, “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”. According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. It is said that the Tanabata event was introduced to Japan from China during the Nara era, … Continue reading Tanabata, Star Festival in Hiratsuka

The most exciting festival in Tokyo, Sanja Matsuri 2022 in ASAKUSA

The most exciting festivals in Tokyo, the Sanja Matsuri “Three Shrine Festival”, has revived for the first time in three years, although some parts scaled down, I’ve been there for three days. After two years of silence, the voice of the festival returns to Asakusa. The night before the first day the head priest of Asakusa Shrine performs a ritual to invite the spirits of the shrine in main building and transfer into the three main mikoshi, portable shrines. Rei-taisai, the most important Shinto ritual held in annually to express for having spent the year safely and pray for future … Continue reading The most exciting festival in Tokyo, Sanja Matsuri 2022 in ASAKUSA