Tokyobling's Blog

Shitaya Shrine Matsuri – Ueno Festival

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on May 11, 2014

This year’s annual Shitaya Jinja Matsuri in Tokyo’s Ueno district takes place on May the 9th, 10th and 11th! The peak is today so if you are in town I can really recommend this fun festival. It marks the first of the big “downtown” festivals of the year in central Tokyo and it is usually a favorite of hotel staff and tourists information bureaus all over Tokyo. Easy to find and a great festival to to visit both for festival veterans and for tourists.

I took these photos on the evening of the second day, when the omikoshi of the various neighborhoods in the “parish” take turns coming up in front of the main shrine building. There were quite a few of them although they are all supposed to finish before dark the processions carried on long after the sun had set. These omikoshi are smaller, but the massive shrine omikoshi is due out on the streets today. It will be preceded by shrine officials and more musicians.

Last night was warm but very windy here in Tokyo, ideal for a tour of duty underneath an omikoshi!



















3 Responses

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  1. TonyJ2 said, on May 11, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I have commented before about your interesting and informative posts and pictures. You never fail to please. And finally some place or experience that I have actually had in your Tokyo!
    I lucked in the Shitaya Matsuri in 2012 when travelling with my daughter. We ended up moving around the various parade routes to capture moments in both the open spaces like in front of Ueno Station and then in some very tight back lanes.
    While not ‘comment etiquette’ here is my story!


    • tokyobling said, on May 12, 2014 at 2:15 am

      Hi Tony and thank you for the nice comment! I have nothing but respect for the volunteer firefighter corps of Japan. They are a vital part of both the civil society and the civil defense of the country. Just must have come upon the second day of the festival. If you had seen the third day you would have come across a lot of the volunteer firefighters teams of Ueno and the parish of Shitaya Shrine, in their eye catching dark blue and orange coats as they direct and help the progress of the grand omikoshi of the shrine. Thank you for sharing the story of your visit!


  2. miclgael said, on January 13, 2016 at 12:09 am

    I was just looking for the name of the festival and found your post. I was in the same area on the same day! It was very busy at around 10am, but a very different vibe. Fantastic night time photographs. I feel I missed out!


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