September 2018 Events in & around Tokyo

There are many wonderful festivals and events happening in and around Tokyo this month. I hope that you can get out and enjoy some of them!

September (many dates), Jazz Street, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture. Held in areas around JR Chiba Station & Chiba Minato Station – 16 locations requiring tickets, 6 free main locations, and in many local bars and restaurants. Check out this website for more details (in English):

9/8-9 Kichijoji Aki Matsuri (Fall Festival), Musashino Hachimangu Shrine, Kichijoji, Tokyo. Daily parade of Mikoshi from 11:00-17:30. Access: JR Chuo Line or Keio Inokashira Line to Kichijoji Station.

9/8 Para Sports Festa Chiba 2018, Chiba Port Arena, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture. Enjoy Paralympic sports before Tokyo 2020 – Goalball/Sitting Volleyball/Para-Taekwondo/Wheelchair Fencing, 9:00-17:00. Free entry. Access: 8min walk from Shiyakushomae Station on the Chiba Urban Monorail, 16min walk from Chiba Station on the JR Sobu Line, 15min walk from Chibaminato Station on the JR Keiyo Line, 12min walk from Chibachuo Station on the Keisei Line.

9/9 Chiba Sake Festa 2018, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan 12F Katolea Salon, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Features over 150 brands of sake from Chiba’s breweries. Held in conjunction with Shizuoka Sake Festival in same venue. Limited double-access tickets are being sold. 16:30-18:30. Access: JR Yurakucho Station (1 minute walk from the Kyobashi/Chuo exit in the Ginza direction).

9/9-23 Grand Sumo Tournament, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

9/13 Kazusa Junisha Matsuri / Hadaka ‘Naked’ Festival, Tamasaki Shrine, Tsurigasaki Kaigan Beach, Ichinomiya Town, Chiba Prefecture. Highlight is when mikoshi are carried by 1000 loin-clothed young men to Tsurigasaki Kaigan Beach where they jostle against each other. *Main event starts at 13:30. Access: JR Sotobo Line to Kazusa-Ichinomiya Station, then walk 8 minutes.

9/14-16 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Reitai-sai (annual festival), Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. Highlight is a parade on 15th of three mikoshi followed by priests, horses, warriors, and other people dressed in traditional costumes. In addition to other events, there is also yabusame (horseback archery) on the 16th from 1pm. Access: JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station, and then walk 10 minutes.

9/14-16 Heiwajima Antique Fair, Tokyo Ryutsu Center, Ota Ward, Tokyo. 10:00-17:00 (16:00 on 16th). More than 300 dealers participate. Access: Tokyo Monorail Line to Ryutsu Center Station, then walk 1 minute.

9/15-16 Narita Traditional Performing Arts Festival, Naritasan Shinshoji Temple Soumonmae Square and Omotesando & Bunkageijutsu Center Sky Town Hall 3rd – 5th Floor, Narita City, Chiba Prefecture. Performers from all over Japan will assemble in Narita City, where spectators will be able to experience a wide variety of traditional performances such as “shishimai”, or lion dance. Mascots from prefectures all over Japan will also ‘attend’. Access: Naritasan Shinshoji Temple: 15 minute walk from Narita Station (JR Narita Line), Keisei Narita Station (Keisei Line)
Bunkageijutsu Center: 1 minute walk from Narita Station (JR Narita Line), 2 minute walk from Keisei Narita Station (Keisei Line)

9/15-17 Dara-Dara or ‘Shoga’ Matsuri (Ginger Root Festival), Shiba Daijingu Shrine, Minato-ku *Parade of mikoshi on the 17th from 9:30-18:30. Access: 1). Toei Asakusa or Oedo Subway Line to Daimon Station, then walk 1 minute. 2). JR Yamanote Line to Hamamatsucho Station (North Exit), then walk 5 minutes.

9/15-30 Kinchakuda-Manjushage Festival, Koma, Saitama Prefecture. Spider Lilies bloom in a forest beside a river. Access: 10 minutes walk from Koma Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

9/15-16 Akagi Shrine Reitai-sai (annual festival), Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. Open-air stalls are set up within grounds of the shrine. Japanese traditional performing arts on both days at 18:00 & 19:00. Access: Toko Metro Tozai Line to Kagurazaka Station (exit 1), and then walk 1 minute.

9/15-16 Nezu Shrine Reitai-sai (annual festival), Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. Open-air stalls will be set up within the precincts of the shrine. Highlight is a parade of Mikoshi and dashi (floats) on the 16th from 9:00am. Access: 1). Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line to Nezu Station or Sendagi Station, and then walk 5 minutes. 2). Tokyo Metro Namboku Line to Todaimae Station, then walk 5 minutes.

9/18 Menkake Gyoretsu, Goryo Shrine, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. Kagura performances from 13:00. Parade from 14:30 – 15:30 of men wearing grotesque and comical masks to pray for a rich harvest of the year. Access: JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station, from there, take the Enoshima Dentetsu (Enoden) Line to Hase Station, then walk 3 minutes.

9/22-23 Fukuro Matsuri, annual festival at Mitake Shrine, JR Ikebukuro Station West Exit area, Toshima Ward, Tokyo. The highlight is a parade on the 23rd of mikoshi accompanied by people beating Taiko drums on the streets of JR Ikebukuro Station, West Exit area.

9/22-25 Yabo Tenmangu Shrine Reitai-sai (annual festival), Kunitachi City, Tokyo. Highlight of this festival is a parade of mando, poles decorated with artificial flowers and pictures, and koshiki-shishi-mai (lion dance) – evening parade & performance on 22nd from 20:00. Mando parade from JR Yaho Station to shrine from 12:00, lion dance performance at shrine from 15:00. Access: JR Nambu Line to Yaho Station, then walk 3 minutes.

9/23-24 Ohara Hadaka (‘Naked’) Festival, Ohara Hachimangu Shrine, Kashima Shrine, Kaisuiyoku-jo Beach, Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture. The highlight, on the 23rd, is Shiofumi, in which 18 mikoshi carried by men wearing loin-cloths jostle each other in the sea and along Ohara Kaisuiyoku-jo Beach. Mikoshi gather at Kashima Jinja at 9:00 am for ritual and head to the beach. Shiofumi is held in afternoon. Mikoshi parade through shopping streets in evening, and on 24th, they parade through town from 15:00. Access: JR Sotobo Line to Ohara Station, then walk 20 minutes.

9/24 Chushu Kangen-Sai, Hie Shrine, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Ancient court music festival associated with the mid-autumn full moon. Bugaku, gagaku, and kagura will be performed within the shrine grounds. Tickets are 3000 yen, starts at 18:00. Access: Chiyoda Line to Akasaka Station, exit 2, then walk 3 minutes. Ginza or Namboku line to Tameike-Sanno Station, exit 7, then walk 3 minutes.

9/29 Yassa Matsuri, Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine, Minakami-machi, Gunma Prefecture. Evening festival with 400 year history. Youths wearing loincloths jostle in grounds of shrine, shouting ‘yassa, yassa’ and then they compete with each other by trying to climb up pillars to be the first to ring the bell attached to the top of the shrine’s ceiling. Access: JR Joestu Line to Gokan Station, then walk 15 minutes.

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