Tokyobling's Blog

July Event Mitama Matsuri at Yasukuni Shrine

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on June 25, 2014

If you are in Tokyo mid-July you could do worse than to visit the massive Mitama matsuri at Tokyo’s famous Yasukuni shrine July 13th to 16th. The Mitama matsuri is most easily explained as a Shinto All Hallows Eve, where the souls of the dead are revered in special ceremonies all over the country. Some shrines though make a bigger event of it, especially those that have been consecrated to enshrine a large number of souls, like the Yasukuni Shrine. The festival is a grand mix of the mitama ceremonies, gorgeous lit lanterns, war remembrance, festival food and drink, traditional performances of everything from taiko drummers to local festivals from far away prefectures.

About 300 000 typically visit during the festival so it is easily one of the most crowded events in Tokyo. There are also opportunities to visit the Yasukuni museum, see the Zero fighter on display and even try some Curry flavored soda, Imperial Navy style!

Getting to Yasukuni is easy since it is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo. Kudanshita station is the closest, but you can also use Iidabashi (if you prefer JR) or Ichigaya stations (slightly longer to walk).

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4 Responses

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  1. Jonelle Patrick said, on June 29, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Wow, where did you see those gorgeous square lanterns? When I went to this festival, I only saw the ordinary ones lining the main promenade! (><)

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on June 30, 2014 at 12:54 am

      They are actually inside the shrine itself and there are thousands of them, divided by prefecture. They are cheap to sponsor and by the end of the festival they are all sold out!

      Like


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