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SEPTEMBER 2019

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



(*) Covered Events
1 Sun *Disaster Prevention Day - Memorial Service at Tokyo Memorial Hall
2 Mon  
3 Tue  
4 Wed  
5 Thu  
6 Fri  
7 Sat *Festival of Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine
    *Kichijoji Autumn Festival
8 Sun *Festival of Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine
    *Kichijoji Autumn Festival
9 Mon  
10 Tue  
11 Wed  
12 Thu *Moon Viewing at Mukojima Hyakkaen (Sept. 12-Sept.14)
13 Fri *Nogi Shrine Annual Festival
    *Akasaka Hikawa Shrine Festival
    *Moon Viewing at Mukojima Hyakkaen (Sept. 12-Sept.14)
14 Sat *Akasaka Hikawa Shrine Festival
    *Ishioka-no-Matsuri in Ibaraki Prefecture
    *Yokota AB Friendship Festival
    Tokyo Game Show
    Hagi Matsuri at Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden Sept. 14-Oct. 6
    *Moon Viewing at Mukojima Hyakkaen (Sept. 12-Sept.14)
    *Annual Festival of Hikawa Shrine in Meguro
    *Cosmos Festival at Showa Memorial Park in Tachikawa Sept. 14-Oct. 27
15 Sun *Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival in Kamakura - Parade
    *Akasaka Hikawa Shrine Festival
    *Ishioka-no-Matsuri in Ibaraki Prefecture
    *Yokota AB Friendship Festival
    Tokyo Game Show
    *Annual Festival of Hikawa Shrine in Meguro
    *Grand Festival of Kasai Shrine in Kanamachi
16 Mon National Holiday (Respect for the Aged Day)
    *Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival in Kamakura - Yabusame
    *Ishioka-no-Matsuri in Ibaraki Prefecture
17 Tue  
18 Wed *Menkake Gyoretsu
19 Thu  
20 Fri *Wanagaya no Shishimai in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture
21 Sat *Wanagaya no Shishimai in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture
22 Sun *Wanagaya no Shishimai in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture
    *Yaho Tenmangu Festival (Manto Parade)
    *Grand Festival of Kaichu Inari in Shinjuku
23 Mon National Holiday (Autumn Equinox Day)
    *Ohara Hadaka (Naked) Matsuri in Chiba Prefecture
24 Tue  
25 Wed  
26 Thu  
27 Fri  
28 Sat *Shinagawa Shukuba Matsuri 
29 Sun *Shinagawa Shukuba Matsuri 
30 Mon  

Disaster Prevention Day Memorial Service at The Tokyo Memorial Temple for Two Great Disasters (Great Kanto Earthquake and W.W. II Air Raids) in Ryogoku, Sumida-ku

Memorial Service on September 1 from 10 a.m. with the attendance of the imperial princess Kako in 2019.

Just two minutes before noon on September 1, 1923, the Kanto district was hit by a strong earthquake and immediately after the collapse of many buildings, a big fire raged with a strong wind on the urban area of Tokyo where most of the houses were made of wood. Due to the fire continuing for 42 hours, about 70% of the houses were reduced to ashes and 58,000 lives were lost.

The site of the Temple was a vacant lot in those days after the Army Clothing Depot had been removed to a new place. Someone cried among a flow of refugees, "Go to the former Army Clothing Depot and we shall be free from the fire." The large ground was occupied in a moment by numerous people with their baggages. A few hours later, the ground was enveloped in flames and 38,000 people missed a way to escape and burnt to death. On Septmber 1, 1930, the Memorial Temple for the Kanto Earthquake was built on this ground and enshrined the ashes of unidentified victims. The Temple changed its name on Sept. 1, 1951 to Tokyo Memorial Temple for two great disasters enshrining the victims of the Tokyo air raids in W.W. II as well. (from the memorial museum pamphlet)

http://tokyoireikyoukai.or.jp/
Memorial Museum inside the compound exhibits pictures, photos and remains of the tragic scenes. Open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (closed on Mon), Admission: Free

Address: 2-3-25 Yokoami-cho, Sumida-ku
Access: Ryogoku Station on JR Sobu Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/cWPfH
Telephone: 03-3622-1208


The Tokyo Memorial Temple for Great Kanto Earthquake and W.W. II Air Raids
more photos

Annual Festival of Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine
Sept. 7 (Sat) and 8 (Sun)

On Saturday - From 1 p.m. Japanese drums, Mikomai, Ohayashi (2:20-2:50), Ryukyu Dance, Kagura from 4 p.m. etc. at the Noh Stage.

On Sunday - The highlight of the festival. Over 20 town mikoshis enter the shrine one after another to from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Ohayashi (3:30-5:20) Bugaku (ancient court dance and music) will be played from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine, the largest Shinto shrine in Setagawa Ward, is located in the midst of the high class residential area of Setagaya Ward. The impressive mikoshi festival at this shrine is supported by eight parishioners groups including groups composed of descendents of a large number of artisans who moved to this area after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 from the hard-hit downtowns of Tokyo. These people contributed greatly in laying a foundation of today's enthusiastic mikoshi festival of the shrine.

Address: 3-25-3 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku
Access: 10 minutes walk from Shimokitazawa Station on Inokashira Line and Odakyu Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/1nI3r
Telephone: 03-3422-1370 (Kitazawa Hachiman)
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Kichijoji Autumn Festival
The festival is held in the same scale every year.
Sept. 7 (Sat) and 8 (Sun)

Kichijoji's biggest event of the year - Kichijoji Autumn Festival (Aki Matsuri) of Musashino Hachimangu Shrine will be held on Sept. 7 and 8, On Saturday, the shrine mikoshi leaves the shrine at 11 a.m. and parade the parishes while town mikoshis will be parading each district. On Sunday, the highlights of the festival, the shrine mikoshi and ten town mikoshis get together at Heiwa Dori Street in front of Kichijoji Station at 3 p.m. and parade the street in front of the train station.

http://www.kichijouji.jp/event/akimaturi/
Address: 1-1-23 Higashimachi, Kichijoji (Musashino Hachiman Shrine)
Access: Kichijoji Station on JR Chuo Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/BgqXL (JR Kichijoji Station)
Telephones: 0422-22-5327 (Musashino Shrine)/ 0422-23-5900 (Festival Office)
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Ishioka-no-Matsuri
The festival is held in the same scale every year.
Sept. 14 (Sat), 15 (Sun) and 16 (Mon)
Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture

Ishioka no matsuri (Ishioka Festival) is a spectacular festival of the Hitachinokuni-Soshagu Shrine in Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture. The festival is held for three days and over 400,000 spectators visit the city for the grand event. The festival is the leading festival of Ibaraki Prefecture and is known for its unique "horojishi" (hood shishi). Horojishi float is drawn by a man wearing a huge and vigorous shishi headgear. 13 dashi floats and about 30 horojishi floats entertain the visitors during the three festival period.
Sept. 14: Jinkosai from 2 p.m., Sept. 15 :Hoshukusai: - Horojishi Parade from 3 p.m. and Dashi Parade from 6:45 p.m., Sept. 16 Finale of the festival from 2 p.m. (Highlight of the festival will be on Sunday).

Ishioka no Matsuri
Address: 2-8-2 Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture (Hitachinokuni-Soshagu Shrine)
Access: Ishioka Station on JR Joban Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Zg0pS
Telephone: 0299-43-1111 (Ishioka City Commerce and Sightseeing Department)
more photos

Nogi Shrine Annual Festival
Sept. 13 Every year the same day of the month.
Akasaka, Minato-ku

On September 13, 1912 on the day of the Emperor Meiji's funeral, General Maresuke Nogi (1849-1912) and his wife Shizuko committed ritual suicide in order to follow their emperor to the grave. He was one of Japan's greatest heroes until the W.,W.II. In Russo-Japanese War, he commanded the Imperial Army and took Port Arthur from Russia in 1905 but lost both his sons in the combats.

Nogi Shrine was built in 1923 to his memory. The shinto ritual ceremony is held on the day of his death day on September 13th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 2 p.m. there will be a memorial service at the Aoyama Cemetery near the shrine where the Nogi family is buried.

The residence of Gen. Nogi standing next to the shrine was built in 1902 in the style of the French army buildings that impressed Nogi so much during his student days in Germany. The residence is noticeably different from many lavish Meiji Period dignitaries' homes. It is extremely frugal for a general of those times - simple, unadorned befitting a soldier.

Inside of the residence where he and his wife committed suicide is open to the public on September 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

http://www.nogijinja.or.jp/
Address: 8-11-27 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Access: Exit No. 1 Nogizaka Station on Subway Chiyoda Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/c0Svq
Telephone: 03-3478-3001 (Nogi Shrine)
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Ushijima Shrine Annual Festival

Ushijima Shrine in Mukojima, Sumidaku is a walking distance from Asakusa and Tokyo Sky Tree.

The Grand Festival of Ushijima Shrine is held once in five years and the next grand festival will be in 2022

Ushijima Shrine which is located in the northern end of Sumida Park is famous for its statue of "nadeushi" or "touching cow" which was built towards the end of the Edo period. It is believed that rapid healing happens by stroking an ailing area on your own body and then the same area on the cow's body.

The fine wooden building and torii of the shrine survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and the W.W. II.

Address: 1-4-5 Mukojima, Sumida-ku
Access: Asakusa Station on Subway Ginza Line/Asakusa Station on Tobu Sky Tree Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/EGsG8
Telephone: 03-3622-0973 (Ushijima Shrine)
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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival
Sept. 15 (Sun) and 16 (Mon), The festival is held in the same scale every year on the same days of the month.
Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture.

In the 12th century, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo chose Kamakura as the seat of his shogunate. It was Japan's first military government. Kamakura remained the political center of Japan until the shogunate was destroyed in 1333. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine was built by Yoritomo. Now, Kamakura is a prosperous seaside resort city and a popular sightseeing spot for its historical importance located not far from Tokyo.

Highlight of the festival is a jinkosai parade of shrine's three ancient mikoshis accompanied by processions of shinto priests and people in ancient costumes on the 15th from 1 p.m. Preceding the parade, shinto rituals will be held from 10 a.m. (shinto priests go up long stone steps to the shrine building as is shown on top page). Best-known Yabusame (horseback archery) of Kamakura is on the 16th from 1 p.m.

http://www.tsurugaoka-hachimangu.jp/
Address: 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura City
Access: Kamakura Station on JR Yokosuka Line and Enoshima Dentetetsu Railway
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/8g4Yw
Telephone: 0467-22-0315 (Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine)
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Akasaka Hikawa Shrine Festival
Sept. 13 (Fri), 14 (Sat) and 15 (Sun)
Akasaka, Minato-ku

Sept. 13, Friday (Festival Eve) - 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Two town mikoshis and a dashi float of Yoriyoshi (Dashi float is cancelled due to bad weather).
Course: Hitotsugi Dori-Akasaka Mitsuke-Biz Tower-Nakano machi.
Sept. 14, Saturday - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
A dashi float of Yamato Takeru and children's mikoshi parade
Course: From Akasaka Elementary School to Sacas Akasaka
Sept. 15, Sunday, Jinkosai Grand Parade - 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Jinkosai parade starts from Hikawa Shrine at 10 a.m. with two floats and 15 mikoshi and after parading all areas of Akasaka via Sacas Akasaka around noon and Fukushi University at 2:30 p.m. returns to the shrine at 5 p.m.

http://www.hikawadashi.or.jp/

Address: 6-10-12 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Access: Akasaka Stn. on Subway Chiyoda Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/RZcid.
Telephone: 03-3583-1935 (Hikawa Shrine)
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Yokota AB Japanese-American Friendship Festival.
Sept. 14 (Sat) and 15(Sun).

Each year, Yokota Air Base in the western suburbs of Tokyo opens its gates and welcomes its off-base neighbors to visit and see the sights, sounds and tastes of Friendship Festival. The two-day-festival is a larage in scale with many attractions. It gathers about 200,000 visitors every year.


Access Gate: No. 5 Supply Ushihama Gate
Time: Gate Open HoursTime: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (Festival is until 9 p.m.)
Features: U.S. and Japanese aircraft displays/ Stage Performance/ Fireworks Show (Sunday at 8 p.m.)
Access: Ushihama Station and Haijima Station
on JR Ome Line (20 minutes walk)

http://www.airliftmagazine.com/friendship-festival/
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Kasai Shrine Grand Festival
Kanamachi, Katsushika-ku
Sept. 15 (Sun), 2019

The shrine was founded in 1185 as a guardian shrine of the region. The shrine is located close by the Edogawa River which seperates Tokyo from Chiba Prefecture. The shrine is the head shrine of eleven towns in the region. It is believed Kasai Shrine is the origin of "Kasai Bayashi" traditional festival music played with "fue" (flutes), "kane" (gongs) and "taiko" (drums). Kasai Bayashi festival music is widely popular in Kanto district.

The grand festival of Kasai Shrine is held every three years and one of the two shrine mikoshi parades the parish town leaving the shrine at 8 a.m.. This year 2019 falls on a major festival year and there will be grand parade of shrine mikoshi from 8 a.m. from the shrine. Major festival is held once in three years.

http://kasaijinjya.world.coocan.jp/
Address: 6-10-5 Toganecho, Katsushika-ku
Access: 15 minutes walk from Kanamachi Station on JR Joban Line.
Telephone: 03-3607-4560 (Kasai Shrine)
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Menkake Gyoretsu (Mask Procession) at Goryo Shrine in Kamakura
Sept. 18 (Wed). Every year the same day of the month.

A parade of ten people wearing grotesque and humorous ancient masks of demon, goblin, okame and others is followed by a time-old mikoshi starting at 2 p.m. from the shrine. The parade takes place in honor of Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa, the enshrined deity of the shrine. A pregnant woman in mask is called Okame and it is believed if an expecting mother touches her stomach, she will have a safe childbirth.

Kagura is performed before the event in the precincts of the shrine from 1 p.m.

Address: 4-9 Sakanoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Access: 5 minutes walk from Hase Stn. on Enoden Railways
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/x2DxK
Telephone: 0467-22-3251 (Goryo Shrine)
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Annual Festival of Kumano Shrine
Sept. 21 (Sat) and 22 (Sun)
Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku.

This year falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a grand parade of the shrine mikoshi and Jinkosai parade on Sunday.

Sato Kagura (sacred dance and music) will be performed from 11 a.m. on both days and other entertainment on both days at night.

Address: 2-11-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Access: 4 minutes walk from Tocho-Mae Station on Metropolitan Subway Oedo Line; 12 minutes walk from Nishi Shinjuku Station on Seibu Shinjuku Line; 19 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station.

http://12so-kumanojinja.jp/
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Cyv3o
Telephone: 03-3343-5521 (Kumano Jinja)
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Annual Festival of Nezu Shrine
Sept. 21 (Sat) and 22 (Sun)
Nezu, Bunkyo-ku.

This year falls 2019 falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a parade of jinkosai and the shrine mikoshi parade. The next grand festival will be in 2022.

"Sanza-no-mai" Bunkyo-ward designated cultual asset kagura (sacred dance) will be performed from 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Kagura-den stage inside the precincts of the shrine.

http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/
Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku
Access: Nezu Station on Subway Chiyoda Line 10 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/uIiUO (A)
Telephone: 03-3822-0753 (Nezu Shrine)
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Annual Festival of Hikawa Shrine in Meguro
Sept. 14 (Sat), 15 (Sun)
Yakumo, Meguro-ku.

There will be performances of time honored Tsurugi-no-mai (sword dance) in expression of the shinto legend of destroying the eight-headed monster serpent by shinto god Susanoo on Sept. 16 (Sat) from 10 a.m. at intervals during the kagura dances (sacred shinto dance) until 8 p.m. On 17 (Sun), there will be a joint parade of the seven town mikoshis from 5 p.m. starting from Tairamachi and visit the shrine at 6 p.m..

The shrine keeps the atmosphere of Japan's traditional tutelary shrine - the compound of the shrine is surrounded by the rich trees.

Address: 2-4-16 Yakumo, Meguro-ku
Access: 2 minutes walk from Toritsu Daigaku Station on Toyoko Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/mC0kf
Telephone: 03-3717-1601
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Hagi Matsuri at Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden
Sept. 14-Oct. 6, 2019

Mukojima Hyakkaen in Sumida-ku was built in the early 19th century by a wealthy merchant of Edo, Sahara Kiku-u. Hyakka-en means A Hundred Flowers Garden. The garden covers little more than 2 acres but is intensely planted with trees, deciduous shrubs, flowering bushes and a tunnel of bush clover.

Every year at this time of the season, the Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden invites everybody to spend a day to celebrate elegant autumn plant of Japan, Hagi (bush clover) for full blooming. The plant grow wild in fields and mountains throughout Japan. It has long been celebrated in Japanese culture as the first of the "SEVEN PLANTS OF AUTUMN" (aki no nanakusa). Other plants are Obana - Japanese pampas grass, Kuzuhana - Pueraria lobata, Nadeshiko - dianthus, Ominaeshi - Patrinia Scabiosaefoliak, Fujibakama - throughwort and Kikyo - Bellflower. Hagi reaches about 2 meters in height and has many thin branches. In the "MAN YOSHU" Japan's oldest poetic anthology, the hagi is one of the most frequently mentioned plants, appearing in 141of total 4516 poems..

Days: Sept. 15-Sept. 30 in 2018
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shin-nai Nagashi (Shamisen music) 11:30 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. on Sept. 16 (Sat)
Tea Ceremony on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 500 yen

URL: Mukojima Hyakkaen
Access: Higashi-Mukojima Station on Tobu Isezaki Line from Asakusa. 10 minutes walk. or Hikifune Station on Keisei Line
Closed on Mon. Admission: 150 yen.
Telephone: 03-3611-8705
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Cosmos Flower Festival
September 14 through Oct. 27 in 2019
Showa Memorial Park in Tachikawa

The huge national park was built commemorating the 50th anniversary of Emperor Showa's reign in 1983 at the site of former U.S. Tachikawa AB. The park possesses 1.49 square kilometers (368 acres).

Visitors to the park can enjoy a walk through forests and a walk over the spacious lawns while viewing beautiful flowering plants savouring the tranquility of nature.

The huge natual park surprises visitors to wonder you are still in the greater Tokyo area. Bicycles are rented at the park.

Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. from Nov.)
Closed: 4 days a year - Dec. 31, Jan. 1 and the fourth Monday of Feb. and the following Tuesday.
Admission: 400 yen for adult and 80 yen for children (6 to 15)

http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/english/index.htm
Address: 3173 Midori-cho, Tachikawa City
Access: Tachikawa Stn. on JR Chuo Line 15 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Iy4VB
Telephone: 042-524-1516
(Best time to see the cosmos flowers will be toward the middle of October)
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Moon Viewing at Mukojima Hyakkaen in Sumida-ku
Sept. 12,13 and 14 in 2019 (open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. during the moon viewing event)

Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden
was built in the early 19th century by a wealthy merchant of Edo, Sahara Kiku-u. Hyakka-en means A Hundred Flowers Garden. The garden covers little more than 2 acres but is intensely planted with trees, deciduous shrubs, flowering bushes and a tunnel of bush clover.

Moon Viewing has long been a popular pastime in Japan. Especially on "Jugoya"the night of the full moon of the eighth month which was the 15th night (jugoya) of the month in the old lunar calendar. Today, it is held on Sept. 15 in the solar calendar. The Japanese adopted the Chinese custom of setting out melons, green soybeans, and fruits in the garden as offerings to the moon on this day. Jugoya is considered to be the harvest moon and is an occasion for thanks giving and partying. Sprays of susuki (eulalia) are displayed on the veranda and tiny skewered dumplings (dango) and vegetables are offered to the moon. Moon viewing is a common theme in Japanese poetry, particularly in waka and haiku. It ranks with snow viewing and hanami as the three most favored settings for declaration of love and poetic outpourings of the soul. (from Kodansha International Japan Encyclopedia)

Shinobue flute performance by Mari Sakamoto on Sept. 12, 5 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Ceremony of Offerings to the moon on Sept. 12 from 5 p.m. Offerings displayed on Sept. 12,13 and 14.

Tea Ceremony on Sept. 12,13 and 14 from 3 p.m.
Koto Music Performances on Sept. 12,13 and 14 from 6 p.m.

URL: Mukojima Hyakkaen
Access: Higashi-Mukojima Station on Tobu Isezaki Line from Asakusa. 10 minutes walk. or Hikifune Station on Keisei Line
Closed on Mon. Admission: 150 yen.
Telephone: 03-3611-8705
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Matsudo no Shishimai at Wanagaya
Hie Shrine, Wanagaya, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture
Sept. 20, 21 and 22 from 7 p.m. (Every year the same days of the month)

In Matsudo City, they have three old shishimais designated as intangible cultural assets of the city. They are shishimais of Wanagawa, Kami Hongo and Ohashi. Of the three it is believed Wanagaya is the oldest.. The shishimai at Wanagaya was dedicated by the then bailiff Densuke Kurahashi to the shrine after the earthquake and the famin of Tenmei period (1781- ) hit the area. Script of the shishimai is not left today but as most of the shishimai in Japan are so, it is dedicated to the god for bumper crops and safety from the epidemics.

Matsudo Shishimai
Accesses: To Waganaya Hie Shrine - Get on a Shin Keisei Bus for Higashi Matsudo via Nyoraido from East Exit of JR Matsudo Station and get off at Nakadai/ To Kami Hongo Kazahaya Shrine - Kami Hongo Station on Shin Keisei Line from Matsudo and Meiji Shrine - Kita Matsudo Station on JR Joban Line/ To Ohashi Koroku Shrine - Get on a Keisei Burs for Koroku Shrine from West Exit of JR Matsudo Station.
Telephone: 047-366-7320 (Matsudo City Public Relations)
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Ohara Hadaka (Naked) Matsuri
Sept. 23 (Mon) at Ohara, Chiba Prefecture

The festival enjoys the honor of the most valiant festival of the Kanto District by its stunning display of masculine strength.

On the 23rd, eighteen mikoshi (portable shrines) are carried by thousands of "naked" men and wade them into the sea from 2:30 p.m. This is the climax of the festival and is called "shiofumi" (tide stepping). The ritual is a form of purification. The carriers shake, toss and sometimes submerge mikoshi into the sea. After the salty ritual, all the mikoshi parade on the shopping streets of the town from around 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

hadakamatsuri
Access: Ohara Stn. on JR Soto-bo Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/C526M
Telephone: 0470-62-1243 (Isumi City Sightseeing Department)
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Higan (Autumn Equinox Day)
Sept. 23 (Mon)

Higan literally means "the other shore." A seven-day period Buddhist memorial service is held twice a year, centering on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. The higan rites are intended to help souls pass from the world of confusion to the world of enlightenment. This is the period of "haka mairi" or cemetery visiting. The whole family visits the family cemetery some time during the week. They sweep the compounds clean, and offer flowers and senko (incense sticks). Another important rite is to pour water over and around the tombstone. Then all kneel (crouch or bow) and pray, repeating Buddhist sutras.

Higan is an important event even today. At temples or public cemeteries throughout Japan, memorial services are conducted for lost souls. It is also a time for family gatherings.
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A red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is called Higan-bana (Higan flowers) since the plant put flowers in the middle of September near the day of Higan (the week of Buddhist services centering on the autumn equinox). The flower is also called "manjushage" which originates in sanskrit and appears in Buddhism scriptures. The root of the plant is poisonous.

Address: 352 Kanegasaku, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture
Access: Tokiwadaira Station on Shinkeisei Line from Matsudo, 10 minutes walk.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/yhu7m
Telephone: 047-387-1165
Admission: Free
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Grand Festival of Atago Shrine
Atago, Minato-ku

This year falls on a minor festival year and there will not be a feature event of carrying mikoshis up and down the long and steep stone steps of the shrine.

The shrine was founded in 1603 on the order of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and sits on top of Atago-yama (Mt. Atago) which is 26 meters above sea level yet the highest peak in any of Tokyofs 23 wards. In the old day, people could enjoy a fine view of entire Tokyo but now obscured by high rise buildings.

The amazing steep stone steps leading to the shrine - a flight of 86 stones, 40 degree stairs is caled gShusse no Ishidanh (Stairways to Success). A legend tells young samurai in the 17th century Magaki Heikuro challenged to ride his horse successfully to the top to deliver plum blossoms to the shogun Iemitsu.

http://www.atago-jinja.com/
Address : 1-5-2 Atago, Minato-ku
Access: Kamiya-cho Station on Subway Hibiya Line.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/3i3ek
Telephone: 03-3431-0327

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The Grand Festival of Kaichu Inari
Sept. 22 (Sun)
Kaichu Inari Shrine in Shin-Okubo, Shinjuku-ku
This year 2019 falls on major festival year and there will be the musketeers parade.

The town is called "Hyakunin-cho" meaning 100 men town. The name of the town comes from a history that a troup of 100 samurai shooters and their families lived here to guard the shogun during the Edo period.

In the major festival (once in two years) about the 150 musketeers gather at the shrine at 9 a.m. .on Sept. 22, Sunday and there will be fire ceremonial volleys with matchlock muskets and a parade of people in armored samurai style proceed from the shrine at 10 a.m. to Nishi Toyama Baseball Field where a mock battle will be held from 1 p.m.

Address: 1-11-16 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku-ku
Access: Shin-Okubo Station on JR Yamanote Line. 2 minutes walk from the station.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Oaa3d
Telephone: 03-3361-4398 (Kaichu Inari Shrine)
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Shinagawa Shukuba Matsuri
Sept. 28 (Sat) and 29 (Sun)
Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku

Shinagawa was one of the 53 shukuba (post towns) of the Tokaido Highway connecting Edo and Kyoto during the Edo period (1603-1868) and Shinagawa was the first stop starting from Edo. There was a big licenced gay quarter in Shinagawa which was ranked as popular as that of Yoshiwara of Edo.

On Saturday from 4 p.m., there will be a gorgeous Oiran Dochu parade starting from Kita Shinagawa along the Kita Shinagawa shopping street.

On Sunday from noon there will be a parade of people in costumes of people in Edo period (1603-1868) and a fire walk at Shinagawa (Honsenji) temple from 1:30 p.m.

http://shinagawa-shukuba-matsuri.com/
Address: Kita Shinagawa Shotengai, Shinagawa-ku
Access: Kita Shinagawa Station on Keikyu Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/EtzhQ
Telephone: 03-3472-4772 (Shinagawajuku Koryukan)
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Yaho Tenmangu Festival
Yaho, Kunitachi
Sept. 22 (Sun)
Parade of Mando on Sept. 22 (Sun): 12 noon from JR Yaho Station to the shrine.

The Yaho Tenmangu is a very old shrine. The foundation goes back more than one thousand years ago during the Heian period. The shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane a great scholar. The shrine is little known to the citizens of Tokyo since it is located in the western suburbs of Tokyo at Hoya which is a small town in Kunitachi. The shrine building is old and fine in a spacious wooded compound. To my question why such a fine shrine is located at little known town of Hoya? A shrine priest explained to me today's people think the center of Kanto District has been at Edo (Tokyo) but before Shogun Ieyasu opened Edo shogunate at Edo (today' Tokyo), the center of Kanto province was for long at Fuchu not far from Kunitachi. The capital (Kokufu) of Musashi no Kuni (Kanto Province) was placed at Fuchu during the Nara period (710-894) and the area was the political and economic center of Kanto until Edo period and in those days, Edo (Tokyo) was a small fishing village.

http://www.yabotenmangu.or.jp/
Address: 5208 Yaho, Kunitachi City
Access: Yaho Station on JR Nanbu Line
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/30KCr
Telephone: 042-576-5123
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