There are many fantastic events happening in and around Tokyo this month. Rainy season is estimated to start around June 8, however, hydrangea and irises both ‘perk up’ and are even more beautiful when surrounded by moisture. Also note, the rain is usually not heavy (like in other areas of Asia).
Early to Late June Hanashobo (Iris Flower Festival), Meiji Jingu garden, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. There are about 1,500 iris roots planted in the garden. Usually in full bloom in mid-June. Admission is 500 yen. Weekdays 8:00-16:30. Sat/Sun 8:00-17:30. Access: Harajuku Station, then walk 5 minutes. Or, Meiji-Jingumae Station, then walk 5 minutes.
5/26-6/24 Suigo Itako Ayame-en (Iris Festival), Itako City, Ibaraki Prefecture. A million iris flowers of 500 species are in bloom in the garden. Admission is free. Yomeiri-fune (a boat escorting a bride) and local Japanese entertainment is scheduled. Yomeiri-fune is every Wednesday at 11:00 and every Saturday at 11:00, 14:00, 19:30. Every Sunday at 11:00, 14:00. Folk dancing every Sunday from 12:00-13:40. Access: Itako Station, then walk 3 minutes. Or, From Tokyo Station, take highway bus to Suigo Itako Bus Terminal (70 minutes).
6/1-4 Suga Jinja Reitaisai – annual festival, Suga Shrine, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. Access: Marunouchi Line to Yotsuya-Sanchome Station, then walk 7 minutes. Or, JR Chuo/Sobu Line to Yotsuya Station, then walk 10 minutes. http://www.sugajinjya.org/news.html
6/1-6/20 Katsushika Shobu (Iris) Matsuri, Horikiri Shobuen, Mizumoto Park, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo. Most events are planned for 6/3, 8, 9, 10. http://www.city.katsushika.lg.jp/tourism/1000064/1017579.html
6/1-6/30 Ajisai Matsuri & Kinme Matsuri (Hydrandea Festival), Shimoda Park, Shimoda Port, Shimoda Fish Market, Shimoda City, Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Main events on 6/10, 16, 17, 24. Access: Take the JR Limited Express Odoriko to Izu-Kyu Shimoda Station. http://www.shimoda-city.com/#we-page-home
6/2-3 Shirahige Jinja Reitaisai – annual festival of the shrine, Shirahige Shrine, Sumida Ward, Tokyo. Parade of mikoshi in evening of 2nd. Parade of mikoshi from 9:00-15:00 on 3rd. Access: Tobu Isezaki Line to Higashi Mukojima Station, then walk 8 minutes.
6/2&3 Yokohama Dragon Boat Race, Yamashita Park – Seaborne area, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. http://www.yokohama-dragon.com
6/6-10 Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri – annual festival of Namiyoke Inari Shrine, Chuo Ward, Tokyo. 8th: 15:30-18:40 parade of mikoshi from shrine to Otabisho. 9th: 14:00-20:30 parade of mikoshi from Otabisho to shrine. 10th: From 12:30-, parade of mikoshi and floats. Access: Tsukiji-shijo Station, then walk 5 minutes. Or, Tsukiji Station, then walk 7 minutes.
6/7-17 Sanno Matsuri – annual festival of Hie Shrine, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Many events during the 10 day period. Access: Akasaka Station, then walk 3 minutes. Or, Tameike Sanno Station, then walk 3 minutes. http://www.tenkamatsuri.jp
6/8-10 Shinagawa Tenno-sai – annual festival of 2 shrines, Shinagawa Jinja & Ebara Jinja, Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo. 9th: from 15:00 a parade of mikoshi carried by children. 9th: from 17:00 a parade of mikoshi carried by townspeople. 10th 8:00-12:00 & 14:15-19:30 a parade of mikoshi. Access: Shin-Bamba Station, then walk 3 minutes. https://shinagawa-kanko.or.jp/event/shinagawajinjyareitaisai2018/
6/8-17 Hanashobu-ten (Iris exhibition), Yasukuni Shrine, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Admission is free. Daily from 6:00-18:00. Access: Kudanshita Station, then walk 5 minutes.
6/9-10 Torikoe Matsuri, annual festival of Torikoe Shrine, Taito Ward, Tokyo. 10th: 6:30-21:00 parade of mikoshi in the neighborhood of the shrine. Access: Kuramae Station, then walk 5 minutes. Or, Asakusabashi Station, then walk 8 minutes.
6/9-17 Kaisei Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival), Kaisei Town, Kanagawa Prefecture. Access: Kaisei Station, then take shuttle bus to festival area. http://kaisei-ajisai.com
6/9-17 Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival), Hakusan Jinja, Hakusan Park, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. 9th: 15:00-16:00 Japanese drum performance. 10th: 13:30-15:30 Jazz band concert. 17th: 10:00-12:00 parade of mikoshi, 13:10-14:00 koto music performance, 14:00-15:00 jazz orchestra concert. Access: Hakusan Station, then walk 3 minutes. Or, Hon-Komagome Station, then walk 5 minutes.
6/10 Tako Hydrangea Festival, along the Kuriyama River, Tako, Chiba Prefecture. About 10,000 hydrangea were planted along the riverbank, and a walking path was completed in 1980. Access: From Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station, take the Tako Town shuttle bus and get off at “Michi-no-eki Tako” (25 min). *A free shuttle bus will be running from Shibayama-Chiyoda Station (Shibayama Railway) to the festival venue. http://www.pref.chiba.lg.jp/kokusai/english/information/residents/news/issues/jun2018.html#f0601
6/16-17 Ocean+Fest TATEYAMA 2018, Hojo Beach, Tateyama City, Chiba Prefecture. An ocean-themed sports event for all ages held. Casual athletes can compete as individuals in events like the Stand-Up Paddleboard Race or watch as lifeguards from around the country compete in a variety of events. There will also be a stand-up paddleboard workshop for beginners. Elementary school students can participate in the ocean-sport fun with Lifesaving Workshop. Access: 5 min walk from Tateyama Station west exit. http://www.pref.chiba.lg.jp/kokusai/english/information/residents/news/issues/jun2018.html#f0602
6/23-24 Hozuki Ichi (ground cherry fair), Atago Shrine, Minato Ward, Tokyo. Daily from 9:00-20:00. Access: Kamiyacho Station, then walk 5 minutes. Or, Onarimon Station, then walk 8 minutes. Or, Toranomon Statin, then walk 8 minutes.
6/22-24. Heiwajima Kotto Matsuri, Antique Fair, Tokyo Ryutsu Center, Heiwajima, Ota Ward, Tokyo. Over 300 dealers. Admission is free. 10:00-16:00. Access: Ryutsu Center Station, then walk 1 minute.
6/30-7/1 Chinowa-kuguri /Suijosai, Torigoe Shrine, Yanagibashi Bridge, Sumida River, Taito Ward, Tokyo. 30th from 20:00 is Chinowa-kuguri, a traditional ceremony to pray for good health and longevity. 1st from 10:00 is Suiji-sai: Traditional shinto ceremonies including a Gozabune (boat) carrying katashiro (paper cut in the shape of dolls), guarded by dozens of other boats, departs from Yanagibashi Bridge and goes down the Sumida River as far as Tokyo Bay, where the ritual is held. Access: Kuramae Station, then walk 5 minutes. Or, Asakusabashi Station, then walk 8 minutes.
6/30-7/1 Fujisan Yamabiraki, Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture. A ceremony to open the official climbing season of Mt. Fuji. http://fujiyoshida.net/event/81