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OCTOBER 2016

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

(*) covered events
1 Sat *Kokkeisetsu National Day of China (People's Republic of China) at Chinatown in Yokohama
2 Sun *Ekota-no-Shishimai (Lion Dance of Ekota) at Hikawa Shrine in Ekota, Nakano-ku
    *Aoi Shrine Shishimai
3 Mon  
4 Tue *Kappabashi Dogu Matsuri Oct. 4-10
5 Wed  
6 Thu  
7 Fri *Grand Festival of Sawara
8 Sat *Grand Festival of Sawara
    *Kanuma Autumn Festival
    *Autumn Roses Festival (Oct. 8-23) at Furukawa Garden
9 Sun *The Tokyo Yosakoi Contest at Ikebukuro
    *Grand Festival of Sawara
    *Kanuma Autumn Festival
    *Mikosh Festival at Kiba Koen
    *Shishimai at Shibamata Hachiman Shrine
    *Shishimai at Kasuga Shrine in Nogami, Ome City
10 Mon National Holiday - Sports Day
    *Sojusetsu Double Tenth Festival National Day of Republic of China (Taiwan) at Chinatown in Yokohama
    *Ana Hachiman Shrine's Yabusame at Toyama Park
    *Kusajishi at Yasukuni Shrine
11 Tue  
12 Wed *Oeshiki at Ikegami Honmonji Temple 
13 Thu *Kangensai at Nogi Shrine
14 Fri  
15 Sat *Kawagoe Matsuri
    *Sakura Autumn Festival
16 Sun *Koto Kumin Matsuri (Koto Ward Citizen's Festival) "Kakunori"
    *Kawagoe Matsuri
    *Nikko Toshogu Annual Autumn Festival - Yabusame
    *Sakura Autumn Festival
17 Mon *Nikko Toshogu Annual Autumn Festival - 1,000 Samurai Procession
    *Annual Autumn Festival of Yasukuni Shrine Oct. 17-20
    *Annual Autumn Festival of Yakuoin Temple in Takao - Chigosan Gyoretsu
18 Tue *Kinryu-no Mai (Golden Dragon Dance) at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
    *Annual Autumn Festival of Yasukuni Shrine Oct. 17-20
    *Oeshiki at Kishibojin Temple at Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku
19 Wed *Bettara Ichi at Takarada Ebisu Shrine in Nihonbashi
    *Annual Autumn Festival of Yasukuni Shrine Oct. 17-20
20 Thu *Bettara Ichi at Takarada Ebisu Shrine in Nihonbashi
    *Annual Autumn Festival of Yasukuni Shrine Oct. 17-20
21 Fri  
22 Sat  
23 Sun *Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Matsuri
24 Mon  
25 Tue  
26 Wed  
27 Thu  
28 Fri *Kansho Matsuri at Meguro Fudoson Temple in Meguro-ku
    *Furuhon (Old Books and Used Books) Matsuri at Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku until Nov. 6
29 Sat *So-Kei Baseball Games (Waseda University vs. Keio University)
    *Halloween at Shibuya
30 Sun *So-Kei Baseball Games (Waseda University vs. Keio University)
    *Halloween at Shibuya
31 Mon *Halloween at Shibuya

KOKKEISETSU National Day of People's Republic of China (main land China) on Oct. 1 at Chinatown in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Parade starts from Zenrinmon gate at 2:30 p.m.
October 1 is the day in 1949 Mao Tse-tung declared foundation of People's Republic of China.
http://www.chinatown.or.jp/
Telephones: 045-641-8606 for Kokkeisetsu Festival

SOJUSETSU (Double Tenth Day) National Day of Republic of China (Taiwan) on Oct. 10 at Chinatown in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Acrobatic Shishimai (lion dance) at Chuka Gakuin School Ground next to Kanteibyo from 11 a.m. and Parade from Kanteibyo at 2 p.m.
October 10 is the day Republic of China was built in 1912 by defeating the Qing dynasty in Xinhai revolution.
Telephone: 045-681-2114 for Double Tenth Festival
http://kakyonet.com/dtf/tenth_festival.html

Chinatown (Chukagai in Japanese) in Yokohama was founded in 1863. Today, the town is one of Yokohama's greatest tourist attractions and the largest Chinatown in Japan. Its streets contain about two hundred Chinese restaurants and over 300 Chinese products shops. Chinese temple Kanteibyo located in the heart of the town is the center of Chinese community life.

Address: Yamashitacho, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Access: Ishikawa-cho Station on JR Keihin Tohoku Negishi Line. 2 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/7uccD
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KAPPABASHI DOUGU MATSURI
Oct. 4-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All days during the festival.
Kappabashi Dori, Taito-ku

On ordinary days, shps are opening from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon through Fri (90% on Saturday and 30% on Sundays and holidays)

Kappabashi Dougu Street is located in Tokyo's Taito City, along the west side of Asakusa's entertainment district, and just midway between Ueno and Asakusa. Merchants first began gathering in the Kappabashi area around 1912, selling old tools and a wide range of implements and hardware. Today, one can find almost every kind of restaurant equipment imaginable, including bakery equipment, Japanese, Western, and Chinese tableware, china, lacquerware, restaurant equipment, packaging, containers, decorative goods, "fake" food samples, chef's coats, signs, noren (shop curtains), bamboo wares, baking ingredients, food and beverage ingredients, confectionary wholesalers, Japanese furniture, Western furniture, kitchen equipment, refrigerators and refrigerated showcases, showcases, displays, shop design and construction services, and much more. At about 800 meters (nearly a half-mile) in length, and with over 170 shops, this is Japan's largest shopping street devoted to kitchen implements. (from the website of Tokyo Kappabashi Dougu Street Promotion Union)
.
"Kappa" an imaginary creature believed to live in water is a mascot of Kappabashi from the phonetic resembrances.

http://www.kappabashi.or.jp/en/index.html
Access: Tawaramachi Station on Subway Ginza Line/ Asakusa Station on Tsukuba Express
Telephone: 03-3844-1225
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Ekota-no-Shishimai (Lion Dance of Ekota)
Oct. 2 (Sun), 1 p.m. to around 10 p.m.
Hikawa Shrine in Ekota, Nakano-ku.

Shishi-mai is one of Japan's representative dance in festivals. There are many kinds, some being very elaborate and artistic, while others are very crude and primitive. Dancer places his head within a big lion head, often with flowing mane, and covers his body with a loose baggy cloth to make him look like an animal. Although it is called shishi-mai (lion dance), it does not necessarily represents a lion. The word shishi referred to all kinds of wild beasts.

History old Ekota-no-Shishimai (Lion Dance) tells it was initiated by a mountain ascetic who directed developement of new rice fields here in 1646.

The shishimai at the shrine was inspected by the third Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu when he came across the place during falconry.

Every year, Ekota-no-Shishimai is performed on the first Sunday of October from 1p.m. to around 10 p.m. Many open-air stalls are set up in the precincts of the shrine.

Address: 3-13-6 Ekota, Nakano-ku.
Access: Numabukuro Station on Seibu Shinjuku Line/ Shin Ekota Station on Metropolitan Subway Oedo Line.
Map; http://goo.gl/maps/iMElx
Telephone: 03-3386-2527
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Shishimai at Aoi Shrine's Annual Festival in Inagi
Oct. 2 (Sun) at 2 p.m.

The shishimai at Aoi shrine is performed by four characters - Three shishis - Oojishi (a male shishi), Mejishi (a female shishi), and Kyujishi (another male shishi) plus Teng
(a long-nosed goblin). Oojishi has two swordlike horns, Mejishi has no horns and Kyujishi has twist pattern horns. The story is a love fight between Oojishi and Kyujishi for Mejishi and Oojishi finally wins.

Inagi is a city located in Tama area on the outskirts of Tokyo and it was known before as a Japanese pear production district.

Address: 1054 Higashi Naganuma, Inagi City
Access: Inagi Naganuma Stn. on JR Nanbu Line/ Keio Sagamihara Line Inagi Stn.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/fposg
Telephone: 042-377-5300 (Aoi Shrine)/ 042-377-5670 (Preservation Assn.)
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Shishimai at Kasuga Shrine's Annual Festival in Nogami, Ome City.
Oct. 9, Sunday at 12 noon and 2:30 p.m.

Shishimai of the Kasuga shrine has a history of more than 250 years and is performed every year in the shrine's annual festival.

Shishimai here is performed by three shishis as it is commonly seen in shishimai in Tama area - outskirts of Tokyo. Ojishi (male) has two swordlike horns, Mejishi (female) has no horns and Dayu-shishi has twist pattern horns.

Although it is called shishi-mai (lion dance), it does not necessarily represents a lion. The word shishi referred to all kinds of wild beasts in the past. Shishi which has horns here are more like deers.

Address: 1-38 Nogamicho, Ome CIty
Access: Kabe Station on JR Ome Line Take a Toei bus Ume 77 and get off at Fukiage Junior High School
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/j21Bl
Telephone: 0428-23-0718 (Kasuga Shrine)/ 0428-22-1111 (Ome Kyoiku Iinkai)
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Shibamata Hachiman Shrine Shishimai
Oct. 9 (Sun), Shishimai from 11 a.m. to evening.

Shishimai of the Shibamata Hachiman shrine is played on a makeshift stage by three shishis (a big shishi, a middle shishi and a female shishi) and a monkey as a helper. The shishimai is performed every year.

The shrine mikoshi is carried once in three years in the grand festival year which was in 2014. There is another big mikoshi (bigger than the shrine mikoshi) accompanying the shrine mikoshi. The private mikoshi which is very unusual is owned by a distinguished family of the local neighborhood the Saito.

The shrine is located very close to the famous Shibamata Taishakuten Temple across the railroad tracks.


Address: 3-30-24 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku
Access: Shibamata Station on Keisei Kanamachi Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/yCJxd
Telephone: 03-3607-4560 (Kasai Shrine - Kasai Shrine controls Shibamata Hachiman)
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The 17th Tokyo Yosakoi Contest
Oct. 8 (Sat) and 9 (Sun)
Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku

Oct. 8 (Sat), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Eve)
Oct. 9 (Sun), 11 a.m.-6:24 p.m. Main stage at the square in front of JR Ikebukuro Station (west exit).

About 100 teams from all over the nation participate in the contest which is the main event of the "Fukuro Matsuri (Festival)" in Ikebukuro.

The energetic dance combination of traditional Japanese dance and modern music which originated in Kochi, Shikoku did not take much time to win national popularity. Today, it is seen at many events and festivals.

The choreographed dances are performed by
large teams. Styles are free. Only common thing is the uses of "naruko" small wooden castanets in the hands of dancers.
https://www.yosakoitokyo.gr.jp/

The performances took place at 8 venues major site being at the square in front of the West Exit of JR Ikebukuro Station.
Address: Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/QLwwc
Telephone: 03-3986-7933
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Sawara-no-Taisai (Grand Festival of Sawara)
Oct. 7 (Fri), 8 (Sat) and 9 (Sun) at Sawara, Chiba Prefecture
10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The festival is held two times a year in July and October. The festival is called one of the Kanto's three major float festivals, and has the tradition of about 300 years as "Grand festival of Sawara." .

In the summer festival 10 floats show up on the east side of the Onogawa river and in the autumn festival, 14 floats on the west side of the Onogawa river. Highlight of the autumn festival comes on Saturday. All 14 floats line up and parade the street from 1 p.m.

Sawara (50 miles northeast of Tokyo) thrived during the Edo period (1603-1868) as a key station of the water transportation. The wealth of Sawara brought the rich culture of Edo to Sawara and had sublimed it to their unique culture which are well reflected in the festival.

http://www.katorishi.com/matsuri.html
Address: Sawara City, Chiba Prefecture
Access: Sawara Station on JR Kashima Line from Narita
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/QQ8UF
Telephone: 0478-54-2244 (Sawara Chamber of Commerce)

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Kusajishi
Oct. 10 (Mon) at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda-ku

In Ogasawara School of Archery, Kusajishi is defined as an archery on ground while archery on horseback is called Yabusame.

Kusajishi literally means a grass deer. It originates in a legend that Minamoto-no-Yoritomo (1147-1199, founder of Kamakura Shogunate) when he was hunting at the foot of Mt. Fuji, he saw many archers fail to hunt game. He suggested them to train their skills shooting at a mock-up target of a deer made of bundled grasses.

http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/
Address: 3-1-1 Kudanshita, Chiyoda-ku
Access: Kudanshita Station on S ubway Tozai Line and Hanzomon Line. 5 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/zxCIT
Telephone: 03-3261-8326
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Yabusame (Horseback Archery)
Oct. 10 (Mon).
Takata-no-Baba, Shinjuku-ku on

A shinto ritual is held at 1 p.m. at Ana Hachiman Shrine before the procession of Yabusame archers to Toyama Park where the horseback archery takes place from 2 p.m.

Takata-no-Baba literally means Takata Horse Riding Ground. The origin of the name comes from - there was a ground here during the Edo Period to train samurais for horse ridings. Takata is the name of the mother of Matsudaira Tadateru, a son of Tokugawa Ieyasu (founder of Tokugawa Shogunate). In the early Edo period, there was a garden constructed for Takata-gimi (Lady Takata) near here. JR Takata-no-baba Station was named for this reason.

The costumes worn by Yabusame archers are:
1. Suikan and Nukabaki, a kind of hunter's tunic and trousers.
2. Igote, an arm guard and groves.
3. Ayaigasa, a colorfully woven hat and Monoigutsu, long horse boots made of tanned leather.
4. Tachi and Maesashi, a pair of long and short swords. On his waist he holds a quiver called Ebira. In it are arrows with hollow, noise-making heads shaped like turnips.
There is Karimata, a pronged arrow tip attached to the Kabuyara arrow. It renders Kaburaya capable of breaking targets.
(from a pamphlet issued by Takata-no-Baba Yabusame Preservation Committee)
Takata no Baba Yabusame
Address: Toyama Park 2-1-1 Nishi Waseda, Shinjuku-ku
Access: Waseda Station on Subway Tozai Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Vfumc
Telephone: 03-3203-7212 (Ana Hachiman Shrine)
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Oeshiki at Ikegami Honmonji
Oct. 12 (Wed) from 6 p.m.
Ikegami, Ota-ku.

Oeshiki is the commemoration of the death of Nichiren Shonin - The venerable Nichiren (1222-1282) the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism.

Nichiren Shonin passed away at Ikegami on Oct. 13. On the eve of his death day, the pilgrims grouped according to the locality march in parade towards the temple from Ikegami Station.

They carry big lanterns called Mando (literally means 10,000 lanterns) which are decorated and illuminated and march with the accompaniment of drum-beating and recitations of the sacred formula "Nammyo Horengekyo" (We believe in the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law). The great parade of about 100 mando groups continues from 6 p.m. to midnight.

http://honmonji.jp/
Address: 1-1-1 Ikegami, Ota-ku
Access: Ikegami Station on Tokyu Ikegami Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/JfoIp
Telephone: 03-3752-2331
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Sakura Autumn Festival
Oct. 15 (Sat) and 16 (Sun)
Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture

Sakura City with a population about 170,000 is located in North Chiba, about 40 kilometers east of Tokyo. Narita Airpot is 20 minutes from the city by trains.

Sakura is an old city where Hotta clan ruled hundreds of years during the Edo period. The land where the castle once stood is today used as a park and the National Museum of History is built on it.

In the Edo period there were many samurai houses in the castle town of Sakura and the old houses of the Kawara, Tajima and Takei families are open to the public.

http://www.sakura-maturi.jp/
Address: Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture
Access: Sakura Station on Keisei Line/ Sakura Station on JR Sobu Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/YVtRg
Telephone: 043-484-1111 (Sakura City)

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Kanuma Autumn Festival
Oct. 8 (Sat) and 9 (Sun)
Kanuma City, Tochigi Prefecture

The city's autumn festival of Imamiya Shrine is famous for its 27 yatai floats which are all decorated with gorgeous reliefs. The elaborate reliefs remind people of those of Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. The impression is correct. Kanuma is close to Nikko and it is believed that artisans on their return from Nikko or they who did not have jobs at Nikko in winter time helped build the beautiful floats.
Some of the floats were built about 200 years ago. A new yatai costs more than fifty million dollars to build.

Kanuma is also known widely among Japanese for its gardening soil "Kanuma Tsuchi"which is a necessary material for Bonsai. The soil is very porous with both a good water retention quality and good drainage. The color is light brown.

http://www.buttsuke.com/
Access: Shin-Kanuma Station on Tobu Nikko Line/ Kanuma Station on JR Nikko Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/8JK8q
Telephone: 0289-63-2303 Kanuma Autumn Festival Committee)/ 0289-60-2507 (Kanuma City Sightseeing Association)
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The 13th Oedo Mikoshi Matsuri
Oct. 9 (Sun), 1:30 p.m.
Kiba Koen Park at Kiba, Koto-ku

This event began in 2003 as one of the celebrations commemorating the 400th anniversary of opening Edo Tokyo as the capital of Japan. The festival consists of two occurrences - contest of mikoshis and joint parade of mikoshis. This year in 2012, 14 groups and 2,500 carriers from Kanto area but one from Gifu Prefecture participated in the event vying their skills of carrying mikoshis.
http://www.mikoshimatsuri.com/

Address: 4-6-1 Hirano, Koto-ku
Access: Kiba Station on Subway Tozai Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/YWZRL
Telephone: 03-3401-3160 (Nihon Mikoshi Kyokai)
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Kangen-sai, Concert of Gagaku (ancient court music) and Bugaku (ancient court dance accompanied by Gagaku music).
October 13 (Thu), 6 p.m.
Admission: free
Nogi Shrine in Akasaka, Minato-ku.

Bugaku is the court dance accompanied by Gagaku introduced from China and Korea to Japan. It has been played since the Nara period (710-784) at the court in special occasions. The dance is characterized by the grace of their motions which are slow and calls into play the whole body.

Gagaku is the court music introduced from China, Korea and India. It is played by an orchestra composed of hichiriki (flageolet-like instrument), sho (which has 17 bamboo tubes placed upright in a circle), flutes, harps, drums, etc. These instrumens are as old as the music.

Bugaku and Gagaku were originally played on the special festivals by the Imperial Household musicians. Today they are played at some shinto shrines and at Buddhist temples by groups of people who reverently preserve the oldest music in the world.

http://www.nogijinja.or.jp/
Admission: Free
Address: 8-11-27 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Access: 1 minute from Nogizaka Station on Chiyoda Line. Exit No. 1.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/8G2cm
Telephone: 03-3478-3001
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Autumn Rose Festival
Oct. 8-Oct. 23
Furukawa Garden
Nishigahara, Kita-ku

The garden has a Japanese-style garden and a western-style garden. The property was originally the residence of the Japan's famous Meiji Period foreign minister, Mutsu Munemitsu. When his second son was adopted into the Furukawa family, it became the property of the Furukawa family - Japan's one of the major zaibatsu groups. The buildings from the previous era no longer exist F

Furukawa Garden
Admission: 150 yen
Address: 1-27-39 Nishigahara, Kita-ku
Access: Kaminakazato Station on JR Keihin Tohoku Line/ Komagome Station on JR Yamanote Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/NG50q
Telephone: 03-3910-0394
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Chrysanthemum Exhibition at Sensoji, Asakusa
Oct. 15-Nov. 16
Due to the decrease of exhibitors, the event will be held a lot in smaller scales this year according to the promoter.
Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Taito-ku

Kiku (chrysanthemums) were imported from China in the 7th century. In the 13th century, the 16-petal chrysanthemum was adopted as a royal crest of the Imperial household. The design motif is used on many items issued by the Imperial Household Agency.

http://www.senso-ji.jp/
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku
Access: Asakusa Station on Subway Ginza Line, Metropolitan Subway Asakusa Line, Tsukuba Express and Tobu Isezaki Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/OnUp6.
Telephone: Sensoji Temple (03-3842-0181)/Asakusa Kanko Renmei (03-3844-1221)
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Kawagoe Matsuri
Oct. 15 (Sat) and 16 (Sun)
Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture

Kawagoe Matsuri is one of the most charming festivals in the metropolitan area. The highly decorated floats are called "dashi" and the city owns 29. The festival is held on Saturday and Sunday of the third week in October and 19 floats parade through the city each day. The origin of the festival goes back 360 years ago when Matsudaira Nobutsuna, then fief of Kawagoe-han (domain), donated a portable shrine and equipments for the celebration to the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. From then on, the festival has continued with changes, introducing styles of the festivals of Sanno Matsuri and Kanda Matsuri in Edo (present Tokyo). In the evening , the floats are lit up by lanterns and the festival reaches its climax. Every year, more than one million people visit the town during the festival days.

http://www.kawagoematsuri.jp/schedule.html
Address: Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture
Access: Kawagoe Station on Tobu Tojo Line from Ikebukuro. 32 minutes by express.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/H3Ijw
Telephones: 049-222-5556 (Kawagoe Sightseeing Information Office)/ 049-224-8811 (Kawagoe City Government)

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Nikko Toshogu Autumn Annual Festival
Oct. 16 (Sun) and 17 (Mon)
Oct. 16 (Sun) Yabusame (horseback archery) from 1 p.m.

Oct. 17 (Mon) 1,000 Samurai Procession from 11 a.m.

On Oct. 16, a ceremony is held at the shrine in the presence of the head of the Tokugawa family, Sanshikai officials, and other dignitaries and guests.

From 1 p.m., yabusame (archery on horseback) in the Ogasawara tradition is performed in a special area set up on the front approach to the shrine.

Three shrine mikoshis are brought to Futarasan Shrine adjacent to Nikko Toshogu Shrine and the Yoinari-sai (Evening Arrival Ceremony) is conductedc by priests from both shrines. (from Nikko Toshogu website)

Nikko is located 75 miles north of Tokyo in Tochigi Prefecture. Nikko has been a sacred place for over a thousand years in shinto as well as in buddhism, but it had to wait until 1616 to take off when Tokugawa Ieyasu - founder of the Tokugawa shogunate died. The shogun Ieyasu willed that a shrine deifying him be built at Nikko and since then it became famous as the site of Toshogu Shrine which contains the mausoleum of Tokugwa Ieyasu.

http://www.toshogu.jp/
Access: Tobu Nikko Line from Asakusa. (Less than 2 hours trip by express trains)
Telephone: Nikko Kanko Kyokai 0288-54-2495/ Nikko City: 0288-22-1111
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Nikko Toshogu Autumn Annual Festival
October 16 (Sun) and 17 (Mon)
Oct. 17- 1,000 Samurai Procession at 11 a.m.

The striking grandeur of the shrine displays wealth and power of the family of Tokugawa which ruled Japan for nealy three hundred years. It is said to construct the shrine buildings and elaborate reliefs, some 15,000 artisans were gathered from all over Japan.

Nikko was designated as a National Park in 1934 and the World Heritage in 1999. The national park offers scenic spots such as Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls, as well as numerous temples and shrines.

Of the annual events, the most picturesque is the 1,000 samurai processions which held in May and October. The 1,000 Samurai Procession will be held on Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. and Yabusame will be on Oct. 16 at 1 p.m.

http://www.toshogu.jp/
Address: 2301 Yamauchi, Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture
Access: Tobu Nikko Line from Asakusa. (Less than 2 hours trip by express trains)
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/dq5vR
Telephone: Nikko Kanko Kyokai 0288-54-2495/ Nikko City: 0288-22-1111

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Annual Autumn Festival of Yasukuni Shrine
Oct. 17 (Mon) through 20 (Thu)
Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda-ku
.
Events scheduled around the festival period:
Oct. 10 (Mon) 11 a.m. and 1p.m. - Kusajishi (traditional archery)
Oct. 16 through Nov. 5 - Chrysanthemum Exhibition
Oct. 17 through 20 - Various traditional entertainment at Nogakudo stage

Traditional performing arts including dances, koto and shamisen music, martial arts etc. from 9:30 a.m. at the Nohgakudo stage during the festival period Oct. 17 through 20.

http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/
Address: 3-1-1 Kudanshita, Chiyoda-ku
Access: Kudanshita Station on Subway Tozai Line and Hanzomon Line. 5 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/zxCIT
Telephone: 03-3261-8326
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Koto Kumin Matsuri (Koto Ward Citizen's Festival)
Oct. 16 (Sun), 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kiba Koen Park at Kiba, Koto-ku.

Contents of the festival are full of varieties such as Kakunori (square log rolling), Chikara-mochi (strongman stunt), Kiyari (lumber carriers chant), Tekomai (geisha girls in male attire) parade, etc.

The feature of the festival is "kakunori" (square log rolling). Kiba means in Japanese a lumberyard. Here at Kiba in Fukagawa, there used to be a large lumberyard where lumbers were gathered from all over Japan. They were transported through canals whichi were running crisscross the area. The time has changed and Kiba is no longer a lumberyard. Yet, the traditions and customs of the profession are preserved by the local people.

http://www.koto-kuminmaturi.jp/
Chikara-mochi was a traditional entertainment of warehouse workers in Saga-cho in Fukagawa during the Edo period. The town faces the Sumida River and the warehouse workers unloaded heavy rice bales from ships for consumers of Edo (Tokyo).

Kakunori begins at 11 a.m. at a swimming pool of the park and other events follow until 4 p.m.

Address: The park covers Kiba 4,5 chome, Hirano 4 chome, Miyoshi 4 chome and Toyo 6 chome.
Access: 5 minutes walk from Kiba Station on Subway Tozai Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/078ry
03-3647-9111 (Koto Kuyakusho)
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Oeshiki at Kishibojin Temple
Oct. 18 (Tue)
Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku.

Oeshiki is the commemoration ceremony of the death of Nichiren Shonin (1222-1282), the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism. The ceremony takes place at the temples of the Nichiren sect throughout Japan. Famous ones in Tokyo are Honmonji Temple (where Nichiren had his last day), Kishibojin Temple in Zoshigaya and Myohoji Temple in Horinouchi, Suginami-ku.

On 18th (Sun), many groups of believers march towards the Kishibojin temple from JR Ikebukuro Station east exit carrying big lanterns called mando which are beautifully decorated and illuminated with an accompaniment of drum-beatings.

The Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism is known for its enthusiasm and vigor. It doesn't take time people to understand it in this flamboyant religious event
. The Oeshiki parade of Kishibojin Temple passes near Seibu Department Store in Ikebukuro at 7 p.m. and returns to the temple.

http://www.kishimojin.jp/
Address: 3-15-20 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku
Access: 15 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station on JR Yamanote Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/uNriJ (A)
03-3982-8347 (Kishibojin Temple)
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Annual Autumn Festival of Yakuoin Temple - Chigosan Gyoretsu
Takao in Hachioji
Oct. 17 (Mon) at 11 a.m.

The festival features Chigosan Gyoretsu at Yakuoin Temple on Mt. Takao.

Chigosan originally meant 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.

Yakuoin temple on Mt. Takao belongs to the Japanese esoteric Buddhism Shingon sect which was founded by Kukai or Kobo Daishi. (774-835). The temple is located at halfway up of Mt. Takao (599 meters high) which is near Hachioji City and is a popular hiking place for Tokyo citizens.

http://www.takaosan.or.jp/english/index.html
Address: 2177 Takaocho, Hachioji
Access: Take Keio Line to Takao-san-guchi station (1 hour from Shinjuku Stn.) and take a cable car to Takaosan station (6 minutes ride). The parade starts at Ju-icchome chaya.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/RpZAw
Telephone: 0426-61-1115

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Kinryu-no Mai (Golden Dragon Dance)
October 18 (Tue)
Sensoji Temple in Asakusa at 11 a..m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The event will be cancelled if it rains.

The festival celebrates the discovery of the Buddha statue enshrined in the Sensoji temple. The legend tells 1000 pine trees suddenly appeared overnight near the temple on the 18th day. Three days later, a golden dragon descended into the pine trees from the heaven.

The formal title of the temple is Kinryu-zan (Golden Dragon Mountain) Sensoji. Geisha of Asakusa play music in a cart accompanying the dragon dance.

The Dragon Dance is held two times a year on March 18 and Oct. 18. It also participates in the Jidai Matsuri parade on Nov. 3.

http://www.senso-ji.jp/
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku
Access: Asakusa on Subway Ginza Line, Subway Toei Asakusa Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/EbKLd
Telephone: 03-3844-1221 (Asakusa Kanko Renmei)/ 03-3842-0181 (Sensoji Temple)

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Bettara Ichi (Japanese Radish Pickles Fair) at Takarada Ebisu Shrine
Oct. 19 (Wed) and 20 (Thu) from noon to 9:30 p.m.
in Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku.

Now a tiny shrine, Takarada Ebisu was thrived as a god of good business during the Edo period being located in Nihonbashi a business center of Edo (Tokyo).

Ebisu, one of Seven Gods of Good Fortune, is the God of shipping and commerce which is usually depicted carrying a fishing pole and sea bream. In the Edo period, an Ebisu-ko (a fete in honor of Ebisu for the purpose of asking for good fortune) was held in October and many items were sold at the fair. Somehow the pickles became popular among other things and continues to today by the efforts of merchants of Nihonbashi district while Ebisu-ko itself lost popularity.

Address: 3-10 Nihonbashi Honcho, Chuo-ku.
Access: Kodenmacho Station on Subway Hibiya Line. Mitsukoshimae Station on Subway Ginza Line. 5 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/dLRxK (A)
Telephone: 03-3663-7084 (Bettara Ichi Preservation Association)/ 03-3664-5671 (Edoya)
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The 56th Jimbocho Furuhon Matsuri (Old and Used Books Festival)
Oct. 28 (Fri) through Nov. 6 (Sun)
10 a.m.-7 p.m. (6 p.m. on Nov. 1)
Jimbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku

Jimbocho is known as a book town of Tokyo. The district is an academic area with lots of schools and colleges. Unique with Jimbocho is the concentration of large number of old and used bookstores. 160 shops deal with rare books, antique books, letters and documents, art books, science books, comics, foreign books, entertainment related books, etc. Genres sold are different by shops. 300,000 books are sold at bargain prices.

Address: Kanda Jimboucho, Chuo-ku
Access: Ochanomizu Station on JR Chuo-Sobu Line, Ochanomizu Station on Subway Marunouchi Line, Shin Ochanomizu Station on Subway Chiyoda Line and Jimbocho Station on Toei Subway Mita Line and Toei Subway Shinjuku Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/DKaZc
Telephone: 03-3293-0161
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Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Matsuri
(Oedo Kakki Parade)

October 23 (Sun)
Chuo Dori, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku

Nihonbashi and Kyobashi areas of Tokyo prospered as a center of culture, commerce and information in Japan over the 400 years since the foundation of Edo Period (1603-1868).

Many groups of local festivals pariticipate in the event - Awa Odori, Danbei Odori, Suzume Odori, Kappore, Nankin Tamasudare, Eisah, Sansa, Ohara, Hanagasa Ondo, Yosakoi, Nagasaki Kunchi etc. and Gujo Odori joins the parade for the first time this year. Parade will be along the Chuo Dori Street starting from Kyobashi at 11 a.m.

During the Edo Period, Nihonbashi Bridge was the starting point of all the routes extending to local Japan.

http://www.nikkyo.net/
Address: Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
Access: Nihonbashi or Kyobashi Station on Subway Ginza Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/qRZOg
Telephone: 03-3561-7348 (The festival organizer's Office)
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"Kansho Matsuri" (Sweet Potato Festival)
Oct. 28 (Fri)
Meguro Fudoson Temple, Shimo Meguro, Meguro-ku.

Aoki Konyo (1698-1769), a scholar during the Edo period (1603-1868) wrote and urged in his book "Kanshoko" (Studies on the Sweet Potato 1735) the cultivation of that easily grown tuber to alleviate famine and it earned him the nickname of "Kansho Sensei" (Sweet Potato Professor). Aoki lived in the neighborhood of Meguro Fudo and is buried inside the temple. People have come to hold "Kansho Matsuri" festival in memory of Aoki Konyo on the temple's monthly fair day the 28th in October (He died Oct. 12). A shop of "yatsume unagi" (rock sucker) near the temple is also famous.

Fudo is a popular deity of esoteric Buddhism and an incarnation of Dainichi, the God of Wisdom commonly represented sitting amid flames grasping a sword in one hand and a rope in the other - the one for terrifying and the other for binding evildoers.

Visitors to the festival are recommended to call at the nearby Gohyaku Rakan Temple which is introduced in the next article.

Address: 3-20-26 Shimo Meguro, Meguro-ku.
Access: Fudo-Mae Station on Tokyu Meguro Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/ZFe6N
Telephone: 03-3712-7549
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Gohyaku RakanTemple (Five Hundred Arhat Temple) in Shimo Meguro, M.eguro-ku.

Gohyaku Rakan means the five hundred disciples of Buddha who attained Nirvana. The Gohyaku Rakan Temple in Meguro was originally founded in 1695 in the district of Honjo (Sumida-ku today) in Edo. With the support of the fifth shogun Tsunayoshi and the eighth shogun Yoshimune, the temple flourished and earned popularity among the people of Edo as Honjo no Rakansan (The Arhats of Honjo).

The Buddhist figures at the temple, including the 500 arthat statues (of which 305 still exist), were a major group of 536 figures carved over a period of more than ten years by Shoun Genkei Zenji. They are designated an important cultural asset of Tokyo, being representative carved wooden figures of the Tokugawa Period. (quoted from Gohyaku Rakanji Home Page).

Faces of the Arhat statues are all different and it is believed visitors are able to find a face which resembles his or her loved ones who passed away thus recalling them to their mind.

Address: 3-20-11 Shimo Meguro, Meguro-ku
Access: Fudo-Mae Station on Tokyu Meguro Line. 8 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Z7lJG
Telephone: 03-3792-6751
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So-Kei Baseball Games (Waseda University vs. Keio University)
Oct. 29 (Sat) and Oct. 30 (Sun)
Meiji Jingu Baseball Stadium in Tokyo

The first baseball game between the two prestigious private universities goes back to November 21, 1903. The following regular games between the two rival universities won great popularity among the public when there was not a professional baseball league in Japan.

The baseball games between the two colleges contributed greatly in popularizing baseball in Japan.

Today, the two teams belong to The Tokyo Six Universities Baseball League and the games between Keio and Waseda are set at the last week of the league series in spring and autumn.

Address: 3-1 Kasumigaoka-cho, Shinjuku-ku
Access: Gaienmae Station on Subway Ginza Line/ Shinanomachi Station on JR Sobu Line
URL: Tokyo Six Universities Baseball League
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/zaZGv
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Meiji Jingu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival.
Nov. 1 (Sun), 2 (Mon) and 3 (Tue)
Various events are held preceding the official day of the festival on Nov. 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.25 (Tue) 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. Bugaku is cancelled due to the demise of Prince Mikasa on Thursday.
Nov. 1 (Tue): Hogaku (traditional music) and Hobu (traditional dance) from 12 noon/ Sankyoku from 3:45 p.m.
Nov. 2 (Wed): Noh and Kyogen 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., and Satsuma Biwa at 2:45 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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Halloween celebration at Shibuya
Oct. 29, 30 and 31 (31 is the festival day but not as busy since it falls on Monday)
Time: In the evening

Halloween
is a cultural import from the West to Japan. Yet, the event has become a major seasonal event and has spread to many cities throughout the country. At Shibuya in Tokyo where people gather most for the event, Metropolitan Police Department is prepared to control the traffic at the scramble in front of JR Shibuya Station to avoid confusions that happened last year. On Saturday, October 29, 2016, from the evening, many - mostly youngsters in various costumes of zombies, witches, fairies, movie characters began to flow into the town of Shibuya the peak being at around 8 p.m. This is not a festival or a traditional event but is a social phenomenon. For that reason, they do not have official programs issued or pamphlets circulated. Japanese people attracted to this unique Western event, jumped to it and together with commercialism, the Halloween appears putting down roots in Japan. The event is originally popular among children and many children's Halloween parades take place at various places in Tokyo such as at Odaiba, Roppongi Hills, Kichijoji and other places.

Access: Shibuya Station on JR Yamanote Line
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