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JUNE 2017


(Please confirm information before you go at the phone numbers listed)

(*) covered events
1 Thu *Katsushika Shobu (Iris) Festival May 30 through June 18 at Mizumoto Park, Katsushika-ku
    *Horikiri Shobuen Shobu (Iris) Festival May 30 through June 18 at Horikiri, Katsushika-ku
2 Fri  
3 Sat *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
    *Tenno-sai Festival at Shinagawa Shrine in Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku.
    *Tenno-sai Festival at Ebara Shrine at Ebara in Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
4 Sun *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
    *Tenno-sai Festival at Shinagawa Shrine in Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku.
    *Tenno-sai Festival at Ebara Shrine: (Mikoshi on a ship sails from Ebara Shrine at 11 a.m. and arrive at Odaiba at 11:30 a.m.
5 Mon  
6 Tue *Kiyari Ondo Memorial Ceremony 11 a.m. at Mimeguri Shrine in Sumida-ku
7 Wed *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
8 Thu  
9 Fri  
10 Sat *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
    *Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival) June 10 (Sat) through June 18 (Sun) at Hakusan Shrine
    *Manto Mikoshi of Sumida Inari Shrine
11 Sun *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
    *Night Festival of Torigoe Shrine
    *Manto Mikoshi of Sumida Inari Shrine
     *Tsukiji Namiyoke Shrine Annual Festival
12 Mon  
13 Tue  
14 Wed *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
15 Thu  
16 Fri  
17 Sat *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
18 Sun *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
19 Mon  
20 Tue  
21 Wed *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
22 Thu  
23 Fri *Hoozuki Ichi (Chinese Lantern Plant Fair) at Atago Shrine, Minato-ku.
    *Gujo Odori in Aoyama at Chichibu-no-Miya Rugby Field Parking Lot in Aoyama, Minato-ku.
24 Sat *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
    *Hoozuki Ichi (Chinese Lantern Plant Fair) at Atago Shrine, Minato-ku.
    *Hyakumanben Nembutsu (A million prayer service) at Shinshoji Temple in Sugamo
    *Gujo Odori in Aoyama at Chichibu-no-Miya Rugby Field Parking Lot in Aoyama, Minato-ku.
    *Asakura Ofujisan Uekiichi
25 Sun *Itako Yomeiribune (bridal boat)
    *Asakura Ofujisan Uekiichi
26 Mon  
27 Tue  
28 Wed  
29 Thu  
30 Fri *Nagoshi-no-Harae (Purificationd toward Summer) at Torigoe Shrine
    *Oyama-biraki (Mountain Opening of Fuji) Ceremony at Ono Teruzaki Shrine

Tenno-sai of Ebara Shrine
June 3 and 4
Ebara Jinja Shrine, Shinagawa-ku.

Ebara Shrine is located on the route of the old Tokaido (Highway) connecting Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. The Emperor Meiji visited the shrine on his way to from Kyoto to Tokyo just before to take up his residence in Tokyo.

There will be a grand parade of more than ten town mikoshis gathering at the shrine from 9 a.m. on both days, Saturday and Sunday.

Unique about the mikoshi of Ebara Shrine is a mask put on the roof of the mikoshi. The face represents Susanoo, a mighty god in Japan. The legend tells the mask was found by a fisherman drifting on the shore and was dedicated to the Ebara Shrine. Another characteristics of the mikoshi of the Ebara Shrine is a drum attached to it..

URL: http://www.ebarajinja.org/top.html
Access: Shinbanba Station on Keikyu Line.
Telephone: 03-3471-3457
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Susanoo Shrine Tennoh-sai Annual Festival
June 3 (Sat) and 4 (Sun)
Susanoo Shrine, Minami Senju, Arakawa-ku.

The Major festival is held once in three years and this year falls on a minor festival year in 2017. The shrine mikoshi will not parade, yet there will be rengyo togyo (joint mikoshi parade) miyairi - ten town mikoshis line up along the Kotsu Dori Street to visit the shrine one after another on Sunday from 5 p.m. until around 9 p.m.

The shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god Susanoo who is known for his braveness destroying the eight-headed dragon which brought sorrow to the people of Izumo (now Shimane prefecture). Susanoo is a spirited, active and adventurous god.

Carriers swing the heavy mikoshi to left and right violently. People believe the more they jostle the mikoshi, the more Susanoo pleases since he is a fierce god. It is dangerous to handle a mikoshi in such a way and requires trainings and a good teamworkship.

URL: http://www.susanoo.or.jp/tennosai/index.html
Access: Minami Senju Station on JR Joban Line, on Subway Hibiya Line and on Tsukuba Express.
Telephone: 03-3891-8281
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Susanoo Shrine Tennoh-sai Grand Festival
June 3 (Sun), 2018
Susanoo Shrine, Minami Senju, Arakawa-ku.

The major festival comes once in three years and the next will be in 2018.

The shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god Susanoo who is known for his braveness destroying the eight-headed dragon which brought sorrow to the people of Izumo (now Shimane prefecture). Susanoo is a spirited, active and adventurous god.

Carriers swing the heavy mikoshi to left and right violently. People believe the more they jostle the mikoshi, the more Susanoo pleases since he is a fierce god. It is dangerous to handle a mikoshi in such a way and requires trainings and a good teamworkship.

URL: http://www.susanoo.or.jp/tennosai/index.html
Access: Minami Senju Station on JR Joban Line, on Subway Hibiya Line and on Tsukuba Express.
Telephone: 03-3891-8281
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Suigo-Itako Ayame Matsuri and Yomeiribune (Bridal boat)
Itako, Ibaraki Prefecture

Ayame Matsuri (Iris Festival) of Itako will be held May 27 through June 25 in 2017. Yomeiribune (Bridal boat) is seen on Wednesday at 11 a.m., on Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Ayame flowers are best to see during the first week of June this year 2017.

Itako is a city located at the southeast part of Ibaraki Prefecture, 80 kilo meters east of Tokyo. This area including Itako, Kashima and Sawara has many rivers, canals and lakes and is called "Suigo" the land with water.

Itako is famous for "ayame"Japanese iris.
In Maekawa Ayame Garden located near the Maekawa River which flows into Hitachi-Tone River, more than one million Japanese irises put flowers in June enjoying visitors. Itako Yomeiribune (Bridal boat) is a reenactment of a bride who goes to a groom's house for wedding with her parents on a boat at the time when a boat was an important mean of transportation in this area.

URL: Itako Ayame Matsuri
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/F63Pn
Access: Itako Station on JR Kashima Line
Telephone: 0299-63-1187
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Sankeien Garden
Honmoku, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Ayame flowers are best to see during the first week of June this year 2017.

Sankeien is a traditional and typical Japanese-style garden designed and landscaped by Sankei Hara (1868-1939) a wealthy businessman in the silk trade. He reconstructed buildings of historic importance relocated from places such as Kyoto and Kamakura in this garden and opened to the public as "Sankeien" in 1906. In the garden of 1,750,000 square meters, seven old buildings of high historic value are skillfully arranged in harmony with the seasonal changes of the natural scenery. The Second World War caused great damage, and in 1953 the property was transferred from the Hara family to the care of the Sankeien Hoshokai Foundation. Restoration works were carried out, and five years later, Sankeien had nearly recovered its former appearance. (from Sankeien English pamphlet)

URL: http://www.sankeien.or.jp/
Address: 58-1 Sannotani, Honmoku, Naka-ku, Yokohama.
Access: Take municipal buses labeled Route 58,99 or 101 from JR Negishi Station (Keihin Tohoku Line) at bus stop No. 1 and get off at Honmoku and 10 minutes walk.
Telephone: 045-621-0634/5; Admission: 500 yen; Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Closed Dec. 29,30 and 31.
(photos taken June 4, 2009)
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Iris Festival at Horikiri Shobu-en (Iris Garden)
May 30 through June 18 in 2017 (According to the garden official, the flowers are in full bloom June 4)
Horikiri, Katsushika-ku.
Ayame flowers are best to see during the first week of June this year 2017.

Horikiri Shobuen is a small but a famous iris garden since the time of Edo. Japan's famous shobu (iris) flowers of the Horikiri Shobuen is depicted in ukiyo-e by Hiroshige.

Irises are known as the flower for Boys. On May 5, boys used to take baths in water strewn with iris leaves. The water loving plant puts flowers when Japan enters "tsuyu" rainy season in June. It would be even more beautiful when the flowers are seen in rain.

Katsushika-ku has another big iris garden at Mizumoto Koen Park (a bus from JR Kanamachi Station).

URL: Horikiri Shobuen
Nearest Station: Horikiri Shobuen on Keisei Line. 15 minutes walk.
Admission: Free
Open: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. all week
Admission: free
Telephone: 03-3697-5237
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Katsushika Shobu (Iris) Festival
May 30 through June 18 in 2017 (According to the garden official, the flowers are in full bloom June 7)
Mizumoto Park, Katsushika-ku.
Ayame flowers are best to see during the first week of June this year. 2017

Hanashobu (Iris ensata) were grown as many as 200 varieties during the Edo period (1600-1868). They are suitable to cultivate in swampy land and the delicate and elegant qualities of flowers have been loved by the Japanese people.

The Mizumoto Park is located close to the Edogawa River. It is a wetland and covers an area of 68.2 hectres. In rainy month of June, 1,4000 irises of around 100 types are in full bloom delighting the visitors. On Saturdays and Sundays during the festival, many attractions are scheduled.

URL: Mizumoto
Address: Higashi-Kanamachi, Katsushika-ku
Access: 10 minutes walk from Shibarare Jizo stop on the Keisei Bus (bound for Togasaki-soshajo) from South Exit of Kanamachi Station on JR Joban Line.
Telephone: 03-3607-8321 (Mizumoto Park)
Admission: Free
(Photos taken June 10)
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Meigetsu-in
Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Meigetsu-in Temple is famous as "ajisai-dera" (hydrangea temple) in Kamakura. The colour of Ajisai flowers is said to change from green and yellow to a blue and almost purple according to the qualities (acidities) of soils. Acid soils produce more bluish blossoms and alkaline more pink. Characteristics of the hydrangea at Meigetsu-in are that they are all blue in color and the plants are original Japanese.

Address: 189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Access: Kita-Kamakura Station on JR Yokosuka Line and 10 minutes walk.
Telephone: 0467-24-3437
Admission: 300 yen
Open: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (during hydrange season)
(photos taken June 6)
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Jojuin
Gokurakuji, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Jojuin Temple is located near Gokurakuji Station of Enoshima Dentetsu Line in Kamakura. The temple is on the top of a hill close to the ocean. On both sides of a narrow path running down to the coast are hydrangea flowers of various colors. Enjoy a grand view!

The temple is a walking distance from another famous ajisai (hydrangea) temple Hase Kannon.

Address: 1-1-5 Gokurakuji, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Access: Gokurakuji Station on Enoshima Dentetsu Line
Telephone: 0467-22-3401
Admission: Free
(photos taken June 6)
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Hasedera (Hase Kan-non)
Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hasedera is a big temple of Jodo Sect of Japanese Buddhism and probably is the most famous hydrangea viewing spot in Kamakura. It deserves the fame in scales as well as in varieties of the plant. Along a hillside are huge amount of hydrangeas.

Inside the temple are the beautiful Japanese garden, a pond, a giant statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, historical buildings, rows of small statues of jizo (the guardian deity of children), etc.

The temple is close to the Daibutsu of Kamakura.

Address: 3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Access: Hase Station on Enoshima Dentetsu Line
Telephone: 0467-23-3050 (Kamakura City Sightseeing Association)
Admission: 300 yen
(photos taken June 6)
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Hydrangea and Iris Flowers at Hondoji Temple in Kitakogane, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture.

Hondoji is a temple of the Nichren sect buddhism and is known as "Ajisai dera" (Hydrangea temple) in this region.

In June, thousands of hydrangea and iris flowers are in full bloom. Both water-loving plants are most beautifully seen when it is slightly raining.

The temple offers beautiful flowers in all seasons. Cherry blossoms in spring, colored leaves in the autumn.

Address: 63 Hiraga, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture.
Access: Kita Kogane Station on JR Joban Line 15 minutes walk
Telephone: 047341-0405
Admission: 500 yen
(Photos taken June 11)
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Shinagawa Shrine Ten-no sai
June 3 (Sat) and 4 (Sun) in 2017
Shinagawa Shrine in Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku.

People carry heavy mikoshis up and down the long and steep stairs of the shrine which sits on top of a hill.

On Saturday, town mikoshis go up and down the hill from 3 p.m. (children's mikoshi) and from 5 p.m. (adult's mikoshi) and on Sunday the big shrine mikoshi go down the hill at 8 a.m. and go up the hill at 7 p.m. to return to the shrine.

Address: 3-7-15 Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
Access: Shin Bamba Station on Keikyu Line. 1 minutes walk.
Telephone: 03-3474-5575 (Shinagawa Shrine)
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Ebara Shrine Tenno-sai
June 4 (Sunday), Mikoshi leaves at 1130 a.m. at Ebara Shrine and arrive at 11:30 a.m. on a ship at Odaiba
Ebara Jinja Shrine, Shinagawa-ku.

Ebara Shrine is located on the route of the old Tokaido (Highway) connecting Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. The Emperor Meiji visited the shrine on his way to from Kyoto to Tokyo just before to take up his residence in Tokyo.

Unique about the mikoshi of Ebara Shrine is a mask put on the roof of the mikoshi. The face represents Susanoo, a mighty god in Japan. The legend tells the mask was found by a fisherman drifting on the shore and was dedicated to the Ebara Shrine. Another characteristics of the mikoshi of the Ebara Shrine is a drum attached to it..

Access: Shinbanba Station on Keikyu Line.
Telephone: 03-3471-3457
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Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival)
June 10 (Sat) through June 18 (Sun)
Hakusan Jinja Shrine, Bunkyo-ku.

In the old days, Ajisai was called Nanabake (seven changes) because it was believed the colour of the plant changes seven times. The colours of Ajisai change from green and yellow to a blue and almost purple according to the qualities (acidities) of soils. Acid soils produce more bluish blossoms and alkaline more pink. The plant grows almost all over the country and is one of the most beautiful flowering bushes of Japan. Japan is rich in hydrangea varieties, with over 20 species and the Japanese hydrangea and varieties developed from it is the most common hydrangea grown in gardens throughout the world.

URL: Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri
Access: Hakusan Station on Subway Toei Mita Line and Hon-Komagome Station on Subway Nanboku Line.
Telephones: 03-5803-1174 (Bunkyo-ku Kanko Koryuka)/ 03-3811-6568 (Hakusan Jinja Shrine)
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Night Festival of Torigoe Shrine
June 11 (Sun)
Torigoe Shrine, Taito-ku.

The mikoshi of the shrine probably is heaviest in Tokyo weighing about 4 tons and it is carried by 150 to 200 people. This is a special mikoshi event worth seeing.. At night, the lanterns of the mikoshi is lit up and many takahari chochin (the lanterns held up high) create an air of fantasy. Also accompanied to the mikoshi are a long nosed Tengu - a mythical dwellers of forests and Tekomai - a group of geisha girls walking in procession in a costume made up with a masculine trouser, men's hairdo, a red paper lantern imprinted with their names and a metal wand in their right hand. Mikoshi leaves the shrine early in the morning at 6:30 a.m. and after parading parish towns returns to the shrine at 9 p.m.

Website: Torigoe Matsuri
Access: Asakusabashi Station on JR Sobu Line. 10 minutes walk.
Telephone: 03-3851-5033 (Torigoe Shrine)
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Kiyari Ondo Memorial Ceremony
June 6 (Tue) at 11 a.m. (Every year the same day of the month).
2-5-17 Mukojima, Sumida-ku

Kiyari Ondo was originally a lumber-carriers' chant sung when they were pulling heavy construction materials such as timbers and stones in the old time. During the Edo period, the songs became popular among machi hikeshi (local fire brigade). Machi Hikeshi consisted of tobi (scaffolding men) of the town and the tradition has been preserved by them until today. Today, the songs were sung in festivals, celemonies and many other events.

URL: Mimeguri Jinja
Access: Honjo Azumabashi Station on Toei Subway Asakusa Line
Telephone: 03-3622-2672 (Mimeguri Jinja)
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Sanno Matsuri

This year 2017 falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a grand parade.


The history of Hie Shrine goes back to the beginning of the Kamakura Period when a man named "Edo" built a Hie Shrine for the guardian deity of his residence on grounds of the present Imperial Palace. In 1478, Ota Dokan (15th century) constructed Edo Castle on the site of the present Imperial Palace and erected a Sanno-Hie Shrine in the compound for a guardian deity of the castle. Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa who opened Edo Shogunate (1603-1867) became the patron of the Hie Shrine and the citizens of Edo had the strong faith in Hie Shrine. The shrine was moved out of Edo castle later and settled in the present place in 1659.

URL: http://www.tenkamatsuri.jp/
Access: Tameike Sanno Station on Ginza Line and Nanboku Line. Kokkai Gijido-mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line.
Telephone: 03-3581-2471 (Hie Jinja Shrine)
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Sanno Matsuri - Grand Festival of Hie Shrine

This year 2017 falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a grand parade.


Being ujiko (parishioners) of the Hie Shrine in this area, Hirakawacho, Kojimachi, Bancho, Kudan etc., means something special. They are the people who live closest to the imperial palace. In the areas are the diet buildings, government buildings, embassies, residences of high government officials and bureaucrats etc.

Naturally, the atmosphere of the festival performed by these people is a lot different from the mikoshi festivals in other areas of Tokyo. It is performed with dignity.

URL: http://www.tenkamatsuri.jp/
Access: Tameike Sanno Station on Ginza Line and Nanboku Line. Kokkai Gijido-mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line.
Telephone: 03-3581-2471 (Hie Jinja Shrine)
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Sanno Matsuri - Shitamachi Rengo Mikoshi Parade at Nihonbashi and Kyobashi Area 12 noon- 2 p.m.

This year 2017 falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a grand parade.

Until the middle of Meiji (1868-1912), Nihonbashi area was the business and shopping center of Tokyo. District name Nihonbashi came from the Nihonbashi Bridge which was first constructed in 1603 when the Tokugawa shogunate opened its government in Edo (Tokyo). The construction of the bridge gave significance to the district and it became the center of Edo as well as the whole country. There still are prominent department stores auch as Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi and many long-established stores such as Maruzen bookstores, Meidi-ya, etc. along the Chuo Dori Street.

Nihonbashi district and the Hie Shrine are remote. They are located almost on the opposite side across the imperial palace. The parish of Hie Shrine covers all the towns around the Edo castle since the time of Edo.

URL: http://www.tenkamatsuri.jp/
Access: Kyobashi Station on Subway Ginza Line.
Telephone: 03-3581-2471 (Hie Jinja Shrine)
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Manto Mikoshi of Sumida Inari Shrine
June 10 (Sat) and 11 (Sun)
4-38-13 Sumida, Sumida-ku.

A colorful Manto mikoshi (lighted mikoshi) will parade through the neighboring area of the Sumida shrine from around 6:30 p.m. on both days. On Sunday, there will be a parade of shrine mikoshi in daytime.

The shrine was built in the 16th century by Zenzaemon Egawa who fled here from Izu after he was defeated in the war. He developed the area and the villagers built a mikoshi in honor to his memory. However, the poor villagers could not afford a fine mikoshi and built a mikoshi which was decorated by lanterns. Today, the shrine has a fine regular mikoshi which is carried on Sunday in the daytime.

Website: Sumida Inari
Access: Kanegafuchi Station on Tobu Isezaki Line from Asakusa. 10 minutes walk.
Telephone: 03-3611-7846 (Sumida Inari Shrine)
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Tsukiji Namiyoke Shrine Annual Festival
June 11 (Sun)
Namiyoke Shrine, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku.

This year falls on a minor festival year, yet, there will be a parade of Giant Shishi Mikoshi of the shrine and Ohaguro Female Shishi Mikoshi on June 11 (Sunday) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Though shishi is usually understood as a lion, it is an imaginary beast. Shishi is believed to have power to repel evil spirits and protect children from the misfortune. Most often seen are a pair of shishi stone statues standing at the gates of Japanese shinto shrines. They are guarding the shrines.

The grand festival of Namiyoke Shrine is held once in three years and this year is the major festival year.

Website: Namiyoke Shishimatsuri
Access: Tsukiji Station on Subway Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-3541-8451 (Namiyoke Jinja)
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Urayasu Sanja Matsuri
June 18 (Sat) and 19 (Sun), 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Grand Festival comes once in four years and the next grand festival will be in 2020.

Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture (Urayasu is very close city to Tokyo located just across the Edogawa River which seperates it from Edogawa-ku of Tokyo)

More than 100 mikoshis including big mikoshis of three major shrines in Urayasu - Horie, Nekozane and Todaijima parade the town. At Urayasu, carriers turn the mikoshis around and swing them down shouting "mawase! mawase! (turn! turn!)" "maida! maida! (washoi! washoi).

URL: Urayasu Sanja Matsuri
Access: Urayasu Station on Subway Tozai Line.
Telephone: 047-354-5111 (Urayasu Kanko Kyokai)
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Hoozuki Ichi (Chinese Lantern Plant Fair)
June 23 (Fri) and 24 (Sat)
Atago Shrine, 1-5-3 Atago, Minato-ku.

Hoozuki belongs to the eggplant species, and is commonly known as Chinese lantern plant. It bears white blossoms in early summer, and the calyx grows into a bag as the berry inside ripens. When the calyx bag is opened there is a perfectly round red berry, just like a ripe cherry. Hoozuki became a toy of Japanese girls in the past. Taking the red berry out of the calyx bag, a girl bore a hole at the bottom and slowly squeeze the seeds out of the hole. She then has hollow round soft ball with a tiny hole. When she squeezes it against her teeth and lips, it makes a faint but pleasing sound.

The 23rd and 24th are the days of "Sen nichi mairi." It is believed people who visit a temple or shrine on either day, the god bestows the same benefits one visits the shrine a thousand days.

Long and steep stairs of Atago Shrine is known by a legend that samurai Magaki Heikuro successfully rode his horse up the stairs to deliver plum blossoms to the shogun.

Chinowa kuguri is a popular Shinto ceremony. By passing through the ring made of hay, it is believed they are given the protection from illness.

URL: http://www.atago-jinja.com/
Access: Kamiya Station on Subway Hibiya Line, Onarimon Station on Toei Subway Mita Line and Toranomon Station on Subway Ginza Line.
Telephone: 03-3431-0327 (Atago Jinja)
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Hyakumanben Nembutsu (A million prayer service)
June 24 (Sat) from 4:30 p.m. Every year the same day of the month.
Shinshoji Temple at Sugamo, Toshima-ku.

Hyakuman-ben means one million times and Nembutsu is a Buddhist invocation - a prayer to Amitabha "Namu Amida Dabutsu" (May the soul rest in peace).

In Hyakumanben Nembutsu, people gathered for the service sit in a circle in a big temple room or around a Buddha statue and Juzu (a Buddhist rosaries) measurring 50 to 60 feets with beads as big as four or five inches in diameter are placed on their laps and with a chant "Namu Ami Dabutsu" everyone moves the bead on his or her lap to the next person. In the past the service sometimes continued all night.

Address: 3-21-21 Sugamo, Toshima-ku
Access: Sugamo Station on JR Yamanote Line
Telephone: 03-3918-4068
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Gujo Odori in Aoyama
June 23 (Fri) and 24 (Sat) at Chichibu-no-Miya Rugby Field Parking Lot inside the Meiji Jingu Outer Garden in Aoyama, Minato-ku.

Gujo Odori in Aoyama heralds bon odori dances in Tokyo. The Gujo-Odori dance which used to be held at Baiso-in Temple in Aoyama (a small yet a beautiful temple located in the midst of the fashionable town of Aoyama in Tokyo) is now moved the venue to the Chichibu-no-Miya Rugby Field since 2010 for a larger space.

Gujo Odori is a variety of bon odori dance originating in Gujo-Hachiman, Gifu prefecture. The music players, the singers and the insturumental players are invited from Gujo. Everybody can join the dance. Time: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fri. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sat.

Website: Bon Odori in Aoyama
Nearest Stn.: Gaien-mae on Subway Ginza Line. 1 minute walk.
Telephone: 03-5777-8600 (Aoyama Gaien-Mae Shopping Street Assn.)
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Nagoshi-no-Harae (Purification toward Summer)
June 30 (Fri)
Torigoe Shrine in Kuramae, Taito-ku.

The ritual is divided into two ceremonies. Chinowa Kuguri at 8 p.m. on June 30 (Sun) and Katashiro Nagashi on July 1 (Wed) (boats depart at Yanagibashi Bridge at 10 a.m.).

Nagoshi is an annual rite of purification ceremony of Shinto shrines held on the last day of the sixth month the other being Ooharae on New Year's Eve.

Common practice of Nagoshi is the rite of chinowa kuguri, in which the source of disease and defilement is believed to be eliminated by passing through a circle made of reeds.

Another variation Katashiro Nagashi takes place on the following day at Torigoe Shrine. The shrine distribute paper katashiro (paper cut in the shape of dolls) among their parishioners and the names and ages of family members are written on them, which are then returned to the shrine on June 30. When they return the Katashiro to the shrine, they breathe on the dolls to transfer all the impurities to the dolls. On the next morning, a Gozabune boat carrying katashiro dolls escorted by dozens of boats departs from Yanagibashi Bridge and will go down the Sumida River to cast the katashiro dolls into water.

Access: Asakusabashi Station on JR Sobu Line and 10 minutes walk.
Telephone: 03-3851-5033 (Torigoe Shrine)
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Asakusa Ofujisan Uekiichi
June 24 (Sat) and 25 (Sun)
Near Asakusa Sengen Shrine

The Ofujisan uekiichi (garden plant or tree fair) is one of the largest of its kind held in Tokyo. The timing is good. It is held during the tsuyu - a rainy season in Tokyo and the plants transplanted at this time of the year is said to grow well.

Asakusa Sengen Shrine is located along the street one block behind the Asakusa Sensoji Temple in front of the Asakusa Police.

Access: Asakusa Station on Subway Ginza Line, Asakusa Station on Tsukuba Express
Telephone: 03-5246-1111 (Taito Ward Office)

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Oyama-biraki (Mountain Opening Ceremony of Mt. Fuji in Tokyo) Ceremony
June 30 (Fri) at 10 a.m.
Ono Teruzaki Shrine in Shitaya, Taito-ku

Mt. Fuji is officially allowed to climb to the top of the mountain only for two months in a year July and August. Japan's highest mountain Fuji stands 3776 meters (12,388 feet). It is not an easy thing to climb the mountain even today and our ancestors living in Edo (Tokyo) came up with a good idea. They built "fujizuka" a miniature mountain in the image of Mt. Fuji in the precincts of shrines with stones they brought back from Mt. Fuji and people worshipped them. Fujizuka are found at many shrines in Tokyo today.

The Fujizuka of Ono Teruzaki Shrine was built in 1828 and is about 5 meters tall and about 16 meters in diameter. The Fujizuka is open on June 30 and July 1.

URL: http://onoteru.or.jp/
Address: 2-13-14 Shitaya, Taito-ku
Access: Iriya Station on Subway Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-3872-5514
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Nobori Matsuri (Giant Banner Festival)
June 26 (Sun) from 6:45 a.m.
This year 2017 falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a festival event. The event will be held next year in 2018.
Sengen Shrine, Shinozaki, Edogawa-ku

The shrine is the oldest shrine in Edogawa-ku. It was built in 938. The festival used to be held every two years on June 30 celebrating the official opening day of Mt. Fuji on July 1. From this year, to solve a manpower shortage problem, the festival will be held on the closest Sunday of the original festival day.

Sengen (Asama) shrines scattered throughout the nation were built for the worship of Mt. Fuji.

At Sengen Shrine in Shinozaki, ten giant banners are put up in pray for a bumper crop on the eve of the Mt. Fuji opening day by the parishioners. A banner is 25 meters high and weighs about 1 ton taking 200 to 300 people to hoist a banner.

URL: http://www.shinozaki-sengenjinja.or.jp/
Address: 1-22 Kami-Shinozaki, Edogawa-ku
Access: Keisei Bus 72 Shinozaki Line from JR Koiwa Station - Get off at Sengen Shrine/ 10 minutes walk from Shinozaki Station on Metropolitan Subway Shinjuku Line
Telephone: 03-3679-6183 (Sengen Jinja)
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