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NOVEMBER 2016

(Please confirm dates and time before you go at the phone numbers listed)

(*) covered events
1 Tue *Meiji Jingu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival Nov. 1,2 and 3
    *Yushima Tenjin Bunkyo Kiku Matsuri Nov. 1 through 23.
    *Hibiya Park Chrysanthemum Exhibition Nov. 1 through Nov. 23
    *Zenyoji Yogo Kikka Matsuri Oct. 17-Nov. 23
2 Wed *Meiji Jingu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival Nov. 1,2 and 3
    *Honjoh Matsuri in Saitama Prefecture
    *Chrysanthemum Exhibition Nov. 2 through Nov. 13 at Tojotei in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.
3 Thu National Holiday (Culture Day)
    *Meiji Jingu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival Nov. 1,2 and 3
    *Honjoh Matsuri in Saitama Prefecture
    *Odawara Castle Chrysanthemum Exhibition Nov. 3 through Nov. 15
    *Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu
    *Chigosan Gyoretsu at Sojiji Temple in Tsurumi, Kanagawa Prefecture
    *Shirasagi-no-Mai at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
    *Air Self Defense Force Iruma Air Show
4 Fri *Dream Yosakoi at Odaiba
5 Sat *Dream Yosakoi at Odaiba
    *Hanno Festival at Hanno in Saitama Prefecture 
6 Sun *Firewalk at Akiba Shrine
    *Dream Yosakoi at Odaiba
    *Hanno Festival at Hanno in Saitama Prefecture
7 Mon  
8 Tue  
9 Wed  
10 Thu  
11 Fri *Tori no Ichi in Asakusa
    *Tori no Ichi in Shinjuku
12 Sat *Tochigi Autumn Festival
13 Sun *Tochigi Autumn Festival
14 Mon  
15 Tue *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Kanda Myojin
    *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Yushima Tenjin
    *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Shibamata Taishakuten
    *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Meiji Jingu
    *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Asakusa
    *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Kamakura
    *7-5-3 (Shichi Go San) at Hie Shrine
16 Wed  
17 Thu  
18 Fri  
19 Sat Tohoku Rokkon Festival will be held again in Tokyo at TOKYO SHINTORA MATSURI (Application dealine on Oct. 30)
20 Sun Tohoku Rokkon Festival will be held again in Tokyo at TOKYO SHINTORA MATSURI (Application dealine on Oct. 30)
21 Mon  
22 Tue  
23 Wed National Holiday (Labor Thanksgiving Day)
    *Issa Matsuri at Entenji Temple
    *Tori no Ichi in Asakusa
    *Tori no Ichi in Shinjuku
24 Thu  
25 Fri  
26 Sat *The 65th Zenkoku Minzoku Geino Taikai (All Japan Folk Dance and Music Convention)
    *Shoes Festival at Tamahime Shrine
27 Sun *Shoes Festival at Tamahime Shrine
28 Mon *Doburoku (Raw Sake) Matsuri at Koami Jinja 
29 Tue  
30 Wed  


AUTUMN GARDENS

Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo
Kiyosumi Garden in Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo
Hondoji Temple in Chiba Prefecture
Tozenji Temple in Chiba Prefecture
Rikugien Garden in Tokyo
Takebashi and East Garden Area of the Imperial Palace 
Yatsu Rose Garden in Chiba Prefecture

Hibiya Park Chrysanthemum Exhibition
Nov. 1-Nov. 23
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Nov. 23 until 12 noon)
Place: Hibiya Park in Chiyoda-ku

The Chrysanthemum exhibition at Hibiya Park has a long history since 1914. The exhibition is one of the largest and known for its high standard. About 2,000 items are displayed.

Chrysanthemum (kiku) which originally came from China was extensively cultivated in Japan and surpassed far in beauty than the chrysanthemum in China. During the early days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Kiku became immensely popular among the feudal lords and they took up the culture of this flower as their hobby. The 16 petalled chrysanthemum is the emblem of the Imperial Family.

Growing chrysanthemum can only be achieved successfully with the utmost care and patience and above everything else, thoroughness. The giant kiku, some of which have hundreds of branches, grows from a single root and they are wired for perfect shapes.

Access: Hibiya Station on Subways Chiyoda Line and Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-5320-4768
more photos

Yoogo Kikka Taikai (Chrysanthemum Exhibition) Zenyoji Temple in Koiwa, Edogawa-ku Yoogo means "descending god."
Oct. 17-Nov. 23

Zenyoji Temple in Koiwa is a temple of Buzan sect of Shingon buddhism and is also known as Koiwa Fudoson. The temple is believed to be founded in 1527 A large miniature landscape created by chrysanthemum flowers is modeling famous sceneries of "Fall of Nachi" in Wakayama Prefecture. Theme changes every year.

Zenyoji Temple is known for its giant pine tree called "Yoogo no Matsu" (god descended pine tree) which is estimated to be 600 years old. The tree was designated as the natural monument of Tokyo in 1926 and the natural monument of Japan in 2011. The tree is 8 meters high and branches extend horizontally about 30 meters in diameter. The tree vied its largeness with "Okano Matsu" at Shinkakuji Temple in Sanuki, Kagawa Prefecture before but the "Okano Matsu" died in 1993.

Access: 2 minutes walk from Edogawa Hospital bus stop of Keisei Bus from JR Koiwa Station
Telephone: 03-3652-1151 (Edogawa Ward Office)/ 03-3657-6692
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IRUMA BASE FESTIVAL
Nov. 3, 9 a.m.
Iruma, Saitama Prefecture

Iruma Air Base
is located in the north west of Tokyo covering parts of Iruma City and Sayama City of Saitama Prefecture. Close to the base, Seibu Railroad's Ikebukuro Line runs and it is 40 to 50 minutes by train from the central Tokyo. The air base is in charge of air defense of Tokyo metropolitan area, Chubu Nagoya area and Osaka covering a large air space of mainland Japan. 18 troops and about 4,300 people are stationed at the base. Iruma plays an important role of logistics. The base keeps 50 aircrafts mostly for transports and does not have fighters. The transport aircrafts here carry about 85,000 people a year and fly supplies of 2,500 tons. The base also has a command of air rescue squadrons assisting and supporting people in natural disasters in the country. Before the war, at the Iruma airfield, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Academy was located and was used for training.
After the war, U.S. Air Force used the base renaming as Johnson Air Base. The base was returned to Japan in 1958 to Japan Air Self Defence Force.

Iruma Air Base is today known widely among Japanese people as a base where JASDF's aviation team Blue Impulse performs acrobatic flights at the base festival on November 3. This year festival in 2016 is 48th and in 2015, the festival attracted 240,000 visitors in one day.

Displayed aircrafts are: C-1, U-4, T-4, U-125, YS-11FC, CH-47J, F-15J, F-2, U125A, UH-60J , T-7, T-400, C130H, AH-1S, OH-6, UH-1, SH-60J, C-12, UH-1

URL: http://flyteam.jp/event/detail/3006
Access: Inariyama Koen Station on Seibu Ikeburo Line
Telephone: 04-2953-6131 (Iruma Base Public Relations)
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"Dream Yosakoi"
Nov. 4 (Fri)-Nov. 6 (Sun)
Places: Odaiba, Tokyo Plaza in Akihabara, etc.

Today, Yosakoi dance is widely known in the nation but it's history is short. In 1954, people of Kochi with a purpose of promoting the city came up with Yosakoi dance which is a modern version of Awa Odori (a traditional summer dance of Tokushima - neighboring prefectures of Kochi in Shikoku).

The energetic dance - combination of traditional Japanese dance and modern music did not take time to attract people's attentions and has become a popular event since.

The choreographed dances are performed by large teams. Styles of dance are free. Only common thing is the uses of "naruko" small wooden castanets in the hands of dancers. Naruko were used in Kochi to scare birds away from rice fields in the old time. The costumes used are widely varied by teams.

http://www.dreamyosacoy.jp/
Address: 2-Chome, Daiba, Minato-ku
Access: Odaiba Kaihin Koen Station on Yurikamome from Shinbashi.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/MLVho
Telephone: Unavailable
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Autumn Roses (Oct. and Nov.) at Yatsu Rose Garden - The original Yatsu Rose Garden was owned by Keisei Electric Railways as a part of Yatsu Leasure Park. The park's rose garden was famous from that time as the largest of its kind in the orient. The garden was closed in 1982 as the comapny shifted its leasure business to Tokyo Disney Land. The rose garden was remodeled and reopend in 1988 to answer citizens requests by Narashino City.

A large rose garden (about 3 acres) houses more than 700 varieties and 6300 bushes of roses from all over the world.
The rose garden is located close to the Tokyo Bay and The Yatsu Higata (tidal flat) Observation Center with a dimension of 1,000 acres is adjacent to the rose garden. A great number of creatures inhabit here such as lugworms, shells, crabs, fish and water-birds including shorebirds.

URL: Yatsu Rose Garden
Admission (Rose Garden): 360 yen (May 1 through Nov. 15)
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Monday (open all day during May and June, and Oct 1 through Nov. 5)
Address: 3-1-14 Yatsu, Narashino City, Chiba Prefecture.
Access: Yatsu Station on Keisei Line from Ueno. 5 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/EieBO
Telephone: 047-453-3772
(Photos taken Nov. 6)
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Meiji Jingu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival.
Nov 1 (Tue), 2 (Wed) and 3 (Thu)
Various events are held preceding the official days of the festival on Nov. 1, 2 and 3.
Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku

The shrine is dedicated to the momory of the Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The shrine was built on November 1, 1920 after Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912 and his wife in 1914. Nov. 3 is the birthday of Emperor Meiji.

Oct.27 (Thu) through Nov. 23 (Wed): Chrysanthemum display at the front approach to the shrine.
Oct. 30 (Sun): Bugaku (ancient ceremonial dance and music) from 11 a.m. is cancelled due to the demise of Prince Mikasa.
Nov. 1 (Tue): Noh and Kyogen from 11:45 a.m./ Sankyoku from 3:45 p.m.
Nov. 2 (Wed): Hobu (traditional dances) from 11:45 a.m.
Nov. 3 (Thu): Kyudo (archery) and Aikido at 9 a.m., Kobudo (Japanes old martial arts) at 10 a.m., Momoteshiki (Japanese ritual archery) at 11 a.m., Yabusame (horseback archery) at 1 p.m.

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Address: 1-1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Access: Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line and Meiji Jingue Mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/qrH1t
Telephone: 03-3379-5511

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Hoin Kagura "Sasa Musubi" was performed by people of the hoin kagura group from Onagawa Town in Miyagi Prefecture on Nov. 15 in 2009 at Meiji Jingu Shrine.
The schedule for this year is on Nov. 3 at 12 noon near the second Torii area. The program is to be announced

The story of the program Sasa Musubi is Susano-o-no-Mikoto (a brother of Amaterasu - the goddess of the sun) destroys monsters which attack and devour village people of Orochijima Island.

Kagura is sacred dances which are performed at shinto shrines on certain festivals while "hoin" means Buddhist ascetic monks or Buddhist exorcists. Until the Meiji restoration in 1868, Buddhism and Shintoism existed as a mixture. By a decree of the Meiji government, seperation of Shintoism from Buddhism was made and the hoin kagura waned as ascetic monks disappeared.

Hoin kagura which once was popular in the districts of Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures were restored by the efforts of local residents. Dynamic movements of hoin kagura reflects influences of Iwami kagura of Shimane Prefecture.

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Address: Meiji Jingu Shrine 1-1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Access: Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line and Meiji Jingue Mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/UK5TE
Telephone: 03-3379-5511
more photos

Meiji Jingu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival.
Nov 1 (Tue), 2 (Wed) and 3 (Thu)
Various events are held preceding the official days of the festival on Nov. 1, 2 and 3.
Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku

The shrine is dedicated to the momory of the Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The shrine was built on November 1, 1920 after Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912 and his wife in 1914. Nov. 3 is the birthday of Emperor Meiji.

Oct.27 (Thu) through Nov. 23 (Wed): Chrysanthemum exhibition at the front approach to the shrine.
Oct. 30 (Sun): Bugaku (ancient ceremonial dance and music) from 11 a.m.
Nov. 1 (Tue): Noh and Kyogen from 11:45 a.m./ Sankyoku from 3:45 p.m.
Nov. 2 (Wed): Hobu (traditional dances) from 11:45 a.m.
Nov. 3 (Thu): Kyudo (archery) and Aikido at 9 a.m., Kobudo (Japanes old martial arts) at 10 a.m., Momoteshiki (Japanese ritual archery) at 11 a.m., Yabusame (horseback archery) at 1 p.m.

Address: 1-1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Access: Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line and Meiji Jingue Mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/qrH1t
Telephone: 03-3379-5511
more photos

Yushima Tenjin Kiku Matsuri (Chrysanthemum Festival)
Nov. 1 through 23
Yushima Tenjin Shrine, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku.

Chrysanthemum (kiku) which originally came from China was extensively cultivated in Japan and surpassed far in beauty than the chrysanthemum in China. During the early days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Kiku became immensely popular among the feudal lords and they took up the culture of this flower as their hobby. The 16 petalled chrysanthemum is the emblem of the Imperial Family.

Growing chrysanthemum can only be achieved successfully with the utmost care and patience and above everything else, thoroughness. The giant kiku, some of which have hundreds of branches, grows from a single root and they are wired for perfect shapes.

http://www.yushimatenjin.or.jp/pc/index.htm
Address: 3-30-1 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku
Access: Yushima Station on Subway Chiyoda Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/gnXti
Telephone: 03-3836-0753
more photos

Chrysanthemum Exhibition
Nov. 2 (Wed) through Nov. 13 (Sun)
Tojotei in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

The Tojotei in Matsudo is a well preserved residence and a garden which was a villa of Tokugawa Akitake, a younger brother of the 15th Tokugawa Shogun Tokugawa Keiki.
It was was built in 1884.

The building and the garden are now owned by Matsudo City and is designated as an important cultural asset of Japan. Chrysanthemums exhibited here are all grown in pots by chrysanthemum lovers of the city. The visitors can enter the lawns of the garden on the 10th every month.

The last photo introduced in the "more photos" is a cover page of the pamphlet of the Tojotei Historical Museum showing the picture of young Tokugawa Akitake who lived here. The museum houses items used by Prince Tokugawa Akitake and many rare photos in those years.

http://www.city.matsudo.chiba.jp/tojo/
Address: 714-1 Matsudo, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture
Access: Matsudo Station on JR Joban Line 10 minutes walk
Admission: 240 yen
Open: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Monday
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/SWjZF
Telephone: 047-362-2050
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Shirasagi-no-mai (White Heron Dance)
Nov. 3 (Thu) at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Taito-ku.

The dance was a ritual of Shintoism and has its roots in the Gion Festival of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto back in the Heian Period (794-1185). The dance was recorded in Sensoji Keian Engi Emaki, an ancient picture scroll of the Sensoji temple. In 1968, the Asakusa Tourist Federation restored the dance in an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Tokyo as the nation's capital.

The dance troup consists of 8 white heron dancers, 3 samurai warriors, 1 baton twirler, 1 grand umbrella holder, 19 musicians and guardian children of Sensoji Temple Kindergarten in traditional costumes.

The Shirasagi-no-mai is performed on the second Sunday in April, in Sanja Matsuri in May and on Nov. 3.

URL: Sensoji
Access: Asakusa Station Subway Ginza Line, Toei (Metropolitan) Subway Asakusa Line and Tobu Isezaki Line.
Telephone: 03-3842-0181 (Sensoji Temple)/ Asakusa Kanko Renmei 03-3844-1221
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Odawara Castle Chrysanthemum Flower Exhibition
Nov. 3 through Nov. 15
Inside the park surrounding the Odawara Castle, Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture

700 bowls of large-blossomed chrysanthemum, tubular-petaled chrysanthemum, bonsai, cascade, etc. are exhibited with the impressive Odawara castle in the background.

http://www.odawara-kankou.com/
Access: Odawara Station on JR Tokaido Line
Open: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/hPqdg
Telephone: 0465-22-5002 (Odawara Sightseeing Association)
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Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu (Feudal Lord's Procession)
November 3 (Every Year the same day of the month)
Hakone Yumoto, Kanagawa Prefecture

Daimyo Gyoretsu parade is held on November 3 at Hakone Yumoto a hot spring town of Hakone for some six kilo meters from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

170 local men and women in costumes of Edo period (1603-1867) parade through the district calling out "Shitani! Shitani!" (Heads down! Heads down!).
From Hotel Nanpuso 100 dancing geisha girls and brass bands with 300 members join the parade.

The event is a faithful reproduction of the journeys made by feudal lords and their retainers. The procession is for Sankin Kotai which is all daimyo or lords had to live in Edo every other year, while their wives and children had to be in Edo all the time. So all the daimyo traveled to Edo and back to their home provinces every other year. The system was established by the fourth Tokugawa shogun Ietsuna to keep control over the feudal lords. The processions were gorgeous to display their power and magnificent retinues.

http://www.hakoneyumoto.com/event/8
Access: Hakone Yumoto Station on Hakone Tozan Railways (15 minutes from JR Odawara Station)
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Vm5l5
Telephone: 0460-85-7751 (Hakone Yumoto Sightseeing Association)
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Honjoh Matsuri
Nov. 2 and 3 (Every year the same days of the month)
Honjoh City, Saitama Prefecture

Honjoh city has a population of about 80,000 located in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture about one hour and a half train trip from Ueno Station by JR Takasaki Line. Honjoh was the biggest post town of the old Nakasendo Highway during the Edo period.

The festival is the event of Kanasana Shrine. Highlight of the festival comes on Nov. 3.
Beautiful ten festival floats parade the town from 12 noon starting from the shrine. The floats of Honjo are all luxurious Edo style three story floats having a doll on top. The dolls are legendary emperors and historical heroes of ancient Japan.

http://www.honjo-kanko.jp/maturi.htm
Access: Honjoh Station on JR Takasaki Line from Ueno Station, Tokyo
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/p3e5T
Telephone: 0495-25-7750 (Honjoh Kanko Kyokai)
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Chigosan Gyoretsu (Parade)
Nov. 3 (Thu) at 10 a.m. Every year the same day of the month.
Sojiji in Tsurumi, Kanagawa Prefecture at 10 a.m.

Sojiji temple at Tsurumi, Yokohama is one of the two main temples of Soto Sect Zen Buddhism in Japan.
The temple was originally founded in 1321 by Keizan Jokin in Noto Province now in Ishikawa Prefecture but was moved to the present location in 1911 after a fire had destroyed it some years earlier.

Chigo is children attendants in temples and shrines in the ancient time. Children were considered uncontaminated by the world, and young boys performed special functions at Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies. Today, chigo refers to children (boys as well as girls) who dress in traditional attire and parade at shrine and temple festivals.

http://www.sojiji.jp/
Address: 2-1-1 Tsurumi, Tsumi-ku, Yokohama City
Access: Tsurumi Station on JR Keihin Tohoku Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/2Qcmb
Telephone: 045-581-6021
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Hanno Festival
Nov. 5 (Sat) and Nov. 6 (Sun) at Hanno City in Saitama Prefecture. Every year the same days of the month.

Hanno is a city with a population of about 80,000 located in the north of Tokyo (one hour train trip from Ikebukuro).

Every year on the first Sunday, eleven neighborhoods in the city parade their traditional floats along the streets near the Hanno train station. Spectators enjoy the highlights of the festival when all the floats come together and vie for the most elaborate performances. Various events also take place in the festival square including a shishi-mai (lion dance), folk dances, etc.

Hanno Matsuri
Access: Hanno Station on Seibu Ikebukuro Line (one hour by an express train from Ikebukuro Stn.)
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/QZsju
Telephone: 042-971-2335
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Hiwatari (Firewalk)
Nov. 6 (Sun) Every year the same day of the month.
Akiba Jinja Shrine, Taito-ku

Akiba Jinja enshrines three fire prevention gods of shintoism. The shrine was originally located inside the Edo castle. As fires happened often in the city of Edo during the Edo period and the following Meiji period, the shrine was moved out of the castle to Akihabara so that it can guard people of Edo and Tokyo directly from fire. Later, when a railroad was built from Ueno passing through Akihabara, the shrine was moved again to the present location.

Every year on Nov. 6, the shinto ritual of hiwatari is conducted at the shrine from 4 p.m. People receive an amulet of fire prevention and walk on fire praying for safety from fire and good health.

URL: Akiba Shrine Hiwatari
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/8Noat
Address: 3-Chome, Matsugaya, Taito-ku.
Access: Iriya Station on Subway Hibiya Line.
03-3844-5748 (Akiba Jinja)
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Tori-no-ichi
Nov. 11 and 23
Otori Shrine in 3-chome, Senzoku, Taito-ku

People of downtown Tokyo feel the year is close to an end when tori-no-ichi comes. They go and buy kumade or ornamented garden rakes at the tori-no-ichi (fowl fair). The fair comes in zodiac calendar on tori-no-hi (Fowl Day) in November. This year, it falls on 11 and 23 in 2016. It is believed a year it has three fowl days in November suffers more fires than a year of two fowl days. Otori shrines exist in many places throughout the nation and all the Otori shrines are thrived on these days with people who come to buy kumade. Other shrine famous for this fair is Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku in Tokyo.

The kumade come in all sizes, from tiny ones about one inch to the huge kinds and big ones are very expensive. Symbols of good fortune that decorate kumade include the ripe ears of rice, a treasure ship, the mallet that shakes out anything desired (uchide-no-kozuchi) etc. It is believed the rakes will gather in good luck for the next year.

http://www.otorisama.or.jp/
Address: 3-18-7 Senzoku, Taito-ku
Access: 10 minutes walk from the 3rd exit of Iriya Station on Hibiya Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/ebnKv
Telephone: 03-3876-1515 (Otori Shrine)
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Tori-no-ichi
Nov. 11 and 23
Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku.

In Tokyo, Tori-no-ichi at Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku is as popular as that of Otori Shrine in Asakusa. People who feel Asakusa is too far may be good to visit Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku. It is as much thriving as that of Otori Shrine in Asakusa.

The kumade come in all sizes, from tiny ones about one inch to the huge kinds and big ones are very expensive. Symbols of good fortune that decorate kumade include the ripe ears of rice, a treasure ship, the mallet that shakes out anything desired (uchide-no-kozuchi) etc. It is believed the rakes will gather in good luck for the next year. People feel the year is close to an end when tori-no-ichi comes.

The big and beautifully decorated kumade sold by street venders are very expensive while small ones sold by the shrine is cheap and everybody can afford them.

http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp/mt/top/
Address: 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/AjPI5
Access: 3 minutes walk from Shinjuku Sanchome Station on Subway Marunouchi Line. 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station on JR Yamanote Line.
Telephone: 03-3209-5265 (Hanazono Shrine)
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Tochigi Autumn Festival
Nov. 12 and 13 from 1 p.m.
Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture

Tochigi city is located about 70 km north of Tokyo in the southern part of Tochigi Prefecture. Population is about 150,000. The city was briefly the capital of Tochigi Prefecture soon after the Meiji restoration until Tochigi Prefecture merged with Utsunomiya Prefecture and the capital moved to Utsunomiya City. The name of Tochigi Prefecture comes from the historical fact.

During the Edo periodA Tochigi prospered as a commercial city. The city escaped war damages during WW II and historical temples, traditional shops and many beautiful kura (Japanese traditional earthen warehouses) remain in the city. Today, the city attract tourists as a ko-edo (small edo) town. The other places called ko-edo are Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture and Sawara City in Chiba Prefecture.

http://www.kuranomachi.jp/akimatsuri/
Access: Tochigi Station on JR Ryomo Line/ Tochigi Station on Tobu Nikko Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/ze46l
Telephone: 0282-25-2356 (Tochigi City Sightseeing Assn./ 0282-21-2543 (Tochigi City Sightseeing Department/ 0282-23-3131 (Tochigi City Chamber of Commerce)
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7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San)
Nov. 15 (In recent time, though Nov. 15 is the offical day of 7-5-3, many visit the shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15).
Kanda Myojin Shrine in Chiyoda-ku.

Each year, during this period of time, the shrine is crowded by fnely dressed children celebrating the ages of seven, five and three. It is called Shichi-Go-San (Seven-Five-Three).

This is for boys of five years old, girls of seven and babies of three of either sex. Parents having children of these ages take them to the shrines (temples) to pay homage to the Gods and pray for health and happiness for them. The tradition came from China. In China, odd numbers are lucky numbers. In the old days, it is not easy for children to grow to those ages and parents celebrated when their children reached to the ages and thanked the Gods.

The ceremony takes places mostly at shrines but also at major temples throughout the nation.

http://www.kandamyoujin.or.jp/
Access: Ochanomizu on JR Chuo Line and Shin Ochanomizu on Subway Chiyoda Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/sdGK2
Telephone: 03-3254-0753
more photos

7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San)
Yushima Tenjin Shrine, Bunkyo-ku
Nov. 15
(In recent time, though Nov. 15 is the offical day of 7-5-3, many visit the shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15).

Shichi-Go-San at the shrine is held during the renowned Yushima Tenjin Chrysanthemum Festival which is from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23.

Each year, during this period of time, the shrine is crowded by fnely dressed children celebrating the ages of seven, five and three. It is called Shichi-Go-San (Seven-Five-Three).

This is for boys of five years old, girls of seven and babies of three of either sex. Parents having children of these ages take them to the shrines (temples) to pay homage to the Gods and pray for health and happiness for them.

http://www.yushimatenjin.or.jp/pc/index.htm
Address: 3-30-1 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku
Access: Yushima Station on Subway Chiyoda Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/VHEEF
Telephone: 03-3836-0753
more photos

7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San)
Nov. 15
(In recent time, though Nov. 15 is the offical day of 7-5-3, many visit the shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15)..
Shibamata TaishakutenTemple in Shibamata, Katsushika-ku

The temple belongs to the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism. Taishakuten has been for long years believed by the people of downtown Tokyo. The buildings of the temple survived the Great Kanto Earthquke in 1923 and the WW II.

The temple acquired a great popularity thanks to the Tora-san films (Otoko-wa-Tsurai-yo series played by Atsumi Kiyoshi).

Long paper bags carried by children are "Chitoseame" (thousand year candy). Inside the bags are long, thin candy having red and white patterns which symbolize healthy growth and logevity.

http://www.taishakuten.or.jp/index2.html
Address: 7-10-3 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku
Access: Shibamata Station on Keisei Kanamachi Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/PxkMo
Telephone: 03-3657-2886
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7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San)
Meiji Shrine
in Harajuku, Shibuya-ku
Nov. 15
Shichi-Go-San officially comes on Nov. 15 in calendar but in recent time, many visit shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15

The most popular shrine for foreign visitors to Tokyo probably is the Meiji Jingu Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the memory of the Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) and stands in large and beautiful surroundings (forests) in the midst of Tokyo.

Every year, the shrine gathers the largest visitors on New Year Days (Jan. 1-3) in Japan.

7-5-3 (Seven-Five-Three) Shichigosan on Nov. 15 is no exceptions. The shrine is crowded with lovely boys and girls dressed in beautiful kimono. They are accompanied by their parents and grandparents who came to thank and pray for the children's happiness and health to Gods.

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/
Address: 1-1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Access: Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line and Meiji Jingue Mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/UK5TE
Telephone: 03-3379-5511
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7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San)
Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine (both are in the same compound side by side)

Nov. 15 Shichi-Go-San officially comes on Nov. 15 in calendar but in recent time, many visit shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15.

This is for boys of five years old, girls of seven and babies of three of either sex. Parents having children of these ages take them to the shrines (temples) to pay homage to the Gods and pray for health and happiness for them.

http://www.senso-ji.jp/
Access: Asakusa Station on Subway Ginza Line, Tobu Sky Tree Line, Tsukuba Express
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/kHvRE
Telephone: 03-3842-0181 (Sensoji Temple)/ 03-3844-1575 (Asakusa Shrine)
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7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San)
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Nov. 15 (In recent time, though Nov. 15 is the offical day of 7-5-3, many visit the shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15).

Nov. 15 (Sun) - Shichi-Go-San officially comes on Nov. 15 in calendar. In recent time, children visit the shrines and temples also on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15.

This is for boys of five years old, girls of seven and babies of three of either sex. Parents having children of these ages take them to the shrines (temples) to pay homage to the Gods and pray for health and happiness for them.

https://www.hachimangu.or.jp/
Access: Kamakura Station on JR Yokosuka Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/z7mD4
Telephone: 0467-22-0815
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7-5-3 (Shichi-Go-San) at Hie Shrine
Hie Shrine at Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku
Nov. 15 (In recent time, though Nov. 15 is the offical day of 7-5-3, many visit the shrines and temples on Saturdays and Sundays before and after Nov. 15).

Hie Shrine was designated as a First Class Government Shrine before the W.W. II and was a highly respected place of worship for the people of Tokyo. In 1478, Ota Dokan constructed Edo Castle on the site of the present Imperial Palace. He also erected a Sanno-Hie Shrine in the compound of the castle as a guardian deity of the castle. The Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa began ruling Japan from Edo Castle. He became a patron of the Hie Shrine and worshipped the deity as the protector of Edo, the old name of Tokyo. The citizens of Edo had the strong faith in Hie Shrine which enshrined the guardian deitiy of the Shogun. In 1607, the shrine was moved outside of Edo Castle to Hayabusa-cho, near the present Kokuritsu Gekijo National Theater. After it was destroyed by the fire in 1659, Shogun Ietsuna Tokugawa rebuilt the shrine at the present location. (from Hie Shrine website)

http://www.hiejinja.net/en/
Access: 8 minutes walk from Akasakamitsuke Station on Subways Ginza Line and Marunouchi Line/ 5 minutes walk from Akasaka Station on subway Chiyoda Line
Telephone: 03-3581-2471
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The 65th Zenkoku Minzoku Geino Taikai (All Japan Folk Dance and Music Convention)
Nov. 26 (Sat) 1 p.m. at National Olympics Memorial Youth Center

From this year the stage will move to National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku. Nihon Seinenkan Hall will be reconstructed expecting Tokyo Olympics.

The event is sponsored by All Japan Municipality Federation for the Conservation and Promotion of Folk Dance and Music (of Japan) and Seinenkan Hall. The event started in 1925 and has introduced more than 450 performing arts for over 70 years except suspensions due to the war from 1937 to 1946.

Time: 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Admission: Visitors have to apply for admissions by mail due to limited spaces. Please call 03-6452-9012 (Nihon Seinenkan) for details
Address: National Olympics Memorial Youth Center 3-1 Kamizonocho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Access: Sangubashi Station on Odakyu Line
Telephone: 03-6452-9012 (Nihon Seinenkan)
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Issa Matsuri
Nov. 23 (Wed) from 9 a.m. Every year the same day of the month.
Entenji Temple, Takenozuka, Adachi-ku.

Haiku Master Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) wrote haiku poems in a very personal, simple style. His poems about his poverty and about his love for small animals and insects made him one of the most beloved haiku poets. His famous and humorous haiku "Yasegaeru Makeruna Issa Koreni Ari." (Small frog, don't give up, Issa is here) was believed to be made when he visited the Entenji Temple. The award ceremony is also held to winners of Japan junior high school haiku contest.

URL: Entenji
Address: 3-13-20 Rokugatsu, Adachi-ku.
Access: Takenozuka Station on Tobu Isezaki Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/UOQDq
Telephone: 03-3883-0787
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Doburoku (Raw Sake) Matsuri
Nov. 28 (Mon) from 9 a.m to 6 p.m.
Koami Shrine, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku.

The shrine offers new wheat and "doburoku" (unrefined raw sake) to God and Kagura-mai (sacred dance) is performed before God after the shinto ritual in the annual festival.

Visitors to the shrine are given the wheat and served with doburoku which were offered to God. People eat the wheat at home boiling together with rice.

Address: 16-23 Koamicho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
Access: Kayabacho Station on Subway Hibiya Line and Tozai Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/4MJNE
Telephone: 03-3668-1080
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Shoes Festival (Konkon Kutsu-ichi in spring and Kutsu no megumi matsuri in autumn)
Nov. 26 and 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mikoshi at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Tamahime Inari Shrine
Kiyokawa, Taito-ku

This unique festival is held at Tamahime Inari Shrine in Kiyokawa, Taito-ku two times a year in April and November each on the last Saturday and Sunday by manufacturers of shoes, bags etc. to thank god and pray for their good businesses.
Also, a memorial service is held for the old footwears which people brought to the shrine for the repose of them. Around the shrine are many shoe manufacturers and during the festival, inside the compound of the shrine about 30 manufacturers and traders open shops and shoes are sold at bargain prices.
Women carry a mikoshi decorated with Cinderella's shoe. Each year about 50,000 people visit the shrine for the festival.

Kutsu no megumi matsuri
Address: 2-13-20
Access: 10 minutes walk from Minami Senju Station on JR Joban Line and Subway Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-3872-3411 (Festival Committee)/ 03-3872-3411 (Tamahime Inari Shrine)
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Takao-san Momiji (maple tree) Matsuri
Nov. 1-Nov. 30 (Best time to see colored leaves middle to the end of Nov.)
Takao-san, Hachioji City

Mount Takao, located within the municipality of Hachioji City in southeastern part of the Kanto mountainous region, is about 50 km from the center of Tokyo (Shinjuku). Because of this convinient location, visitors can enjoy its natural beauty and many other attractions all in a day's trip. The Mount Takao is 599 meters high and is a popular hiking spot for all ages. The Takao Tozan Railway cable car runs from Kiyotaki station near the Keio Takaosan Guchi Station to the Takaosan Station at 472 meters high halfway up the mountain. Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple is one of the Daihonzan temples of the Chizan School of the Shingon sect and is believed to have been built in 744 by Gyoki Bosatsu.
(compiled from web sites of Takaosan Railway Co. Ltd. and Yakuoin Temple)

Access: Takaosan-guchi Station on Keio Line from Shinjuku
Telephone: 042-643-3115 (Hachioji Tourist Association)
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Kiyosumi Teien (Garden) in Kiyosumi, Koto-ku is said it was originally a part of the residence grounds of the famous Edo Period business magnate Kinokuniya Bunzaemon. Later, it became the location of the Edo residence of the Lord Kuze Yamato-no-kami of Sekiyado in Shimofusa (a part of present day Chiba prefecture). In 1878, the founder of Mitsubishi zaibatsu Iwasaki Yataro purchased the property and modified greatly and chose it as a garden area for the enjoyment of his employees and entertainment of important guests. The Iwasaki family donated the garden to Tokyo metropolitan government after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.

The waters of the Sumidagawa River were brought into the grounds to make the pond. Hills and waterless waterfalls were constructed and famous rocks from all over Japan were brought in to embellish the garden.

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Dec. 29 through Jan. 1).
Admission: 150 yen
Address: 3-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku
Access: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station on Subway Hanzomon Line and Toei O-edo Line.
https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index033.html
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/saeo9
Telephone: 03-3641-5892
(Photos taken Nov. 23)
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Shinjuku Gyoen was constructed on the site of a private mansion belonging to Lord Naito, a "daimyo"(feudal lord) of the Edo era (1600-1868). Completed in 1906 as an imperial garden, it was re-designated as a national garden after the Second World War and opened to the public.

With 58.3 ha (144 acres) in size and a circumference of 3.5 k.m., it blends three distinct styles, French Formal Garden, English Landscape Garden and Japanese Traditional Garden, and is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era.
(Quoted from the home page of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden)

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed: Mondays (Tuesdays when Monday is a national holiday) and Dec. 29 through Jan. 3.
Admission: 200 yen (adult), 50 yen (junior high and under)
Access: Shinjuku-Gyoenmae Station on Subway Marunouchi Line, Sendagaya Station on JR Sobu Line and Shinjuku 3-chome Station on Subway Marunouchi Line. (The garden has three gates - Shinjuku Gate, Okido Gate and Sendagaya Gate)
http://fng.or.jp/shinjuku/
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/JkDDP
Telephone: 03-3350-0151
(Photos taken Nov. 26)

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Colored leaves in Autumn at Hondoji Temple in Kitakogane, Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

The temple used to be the residence of Hiraga members of the Genji samurai family. In 1277, a small temple was moved to this site and it was given the name HONDOJI by Nichiren, the founder of Nichiren sect of Buddhism.

The temple offers beautiful flowers in@all seasons. Particularly famous are hydrangeas in June and autumnal colored leaves from late November to early December.

Admission: 500 yen
Address: 63 Hiraga, Masudo City, Chiba Prefecture
Access: Kita Kogane Station on JR Joban Line. 10 minutes walk.
http://www.hondoji.net/
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/b5oCF
Telephone: 047-341-0405
(Photos taken Nov. 28)
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Colored Leaves in Autumn at Tozenji Temple in Kitakogane, Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

Tozenji Temple is a Jodo Sect temple which had a large land in the area. The temple thrived greatly during the Edo period protected by the Tokugawa shogunate family and it was counted as one of the 18 big temples in Kanto district. The temple used to have many buildings but most of them were destructed in the anti-Buddhist movement in the Meiji era.

The temple is visited by many people in spring for beautiful cherry blossoms and from late November to early December for gorgeous autumnal colored leaves of the giant trees inside the precincts of the temple.

Address: 359 Kogane, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture. (The temple is located on the other side of Hondoji Temple across the JR Joban Line Kitakogane Station).
Access: Kita Kogane Station on JR Joban Line. 10 minutes walk.
http://tozenji.sakura.ne.jp/
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/K9T1e
Telephone: 047-345-1517
(Photos taken Nov. 28)
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Colored Leaves in Autumn at Rikugien Garden

The most beautiful colored leaves viewing spot in Tokyo is Rikugien in Komagome, Tokyo. The garden is a typical example of Japanese gardens of Edo period built by the fifth shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi's trusted confidante Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu as his villa in 1702.

In 1953 the garden was designated as a special site of exceptional beauty and an important cultural asset of Tokyo.

The best time to see the colored leaves will be toward the end of November and early December. Night time light up will be from Nov. 19 through Dec. 7. (the garden opens until 9 p.m. during the light up days)

https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index031.html
Address: 6-chome, Hon-Komagome, Bunkyo-ku
Access: Komagome Station on JR Yamanote Line 10 minutes walk.
Admission: 300 yen
Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., (Closed Dec. 29 through Jan. 1).
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/NbfAI
Telephone: 03-3941-2222 (Rikugien Service Center)
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Colored Leaves in Autumn at Takebashi and East Garden Area of the Imperial Palace

The east garden of the imperial palace is open to the public since 1968. The compound is the former site of Edo Castle's Honmaru (main dongeon) and Ninomaru (second dongeon). At the Honmaru, the castle owner spent his daily life and government businesses were executed and at Ninomaru, the castle owner met with feudal lords. Today, the buildings do not exist and only the foundation of the Honmaru remains. They were destroyed in the conflagration of 1647 but the moats, castle walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses still exist. (photos taken on Nov. 23, 2013)

Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/d4phx
Access: Takebashi Station on Subway Tozai Line
Time: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Closed Mon and Fri and New Year Dec. 28 to Jan. 3)
Admission: Free
Telephone: 03-3213-1111 (Imperial Household Agency)
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Tonogayato Gardens
(Photos taken on Nov. 27, 2015)

The garden is a villa garden that was built taking advantage of the terrace cliff on the southern edge of the Musashino plateau, as well as the scenic beauty of the growth of miscellaneous trees. Eguchi Teiji, former employee of the Mitsubishi who later ascended to vice president of the Southern Manchuria Railway, established a villa between 1913 and 1915 naming it as "Zuigien." In 1929, Iwasaki Hiroyata, president of Mitsubishi purchased this villa from the Eguchi family. In 1974, Tokyo Metropolitan Government purchased and upgrating opened as a Places of Scenic Beauty of the country as Tonogayato Gardens to the public.

Tonogayato Gardens
Access: 2 minutes walk from Kokubunji Station on JR Chuo Line
Telephone: 042-324-7991
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