There are many fantastic events happening in and around Tokyo this month. Rainy season usually starts around June 8, however, hydrangea and irises ‘perk up’ and are even more beautiful in moist conditions. Also note, the rain is usually not heavy (like in other areas of Asia).
*This list will be updated online at excursionsjapan.com when I learn of new events.
Early to mid-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.
5/25-6/23 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. Access: Itako Station, then walk 3 minutes. Or, From Tokyo Station, take highway bus to Suigo Itako Bus Terminal (70 minutes).
5/27-6/16 Katsushika Shobu (Iris) Matsuri, Horikiri Shobuen, Mizumoto Park, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo. Iris festival held in two parks. there are 6,000 iris roots in Horikiri Shobuen and 14,000 iris roots in Mizumoto Park. Various events on weekends including… 6/9 – Parade of Japanese folk dance in the neighborhood of the park.
5/31-6/3 Suga Jinja Reitaisai, Suga Shrine, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. Annual festival. Highlight is a parade of mikoshi on 6/2 from 11:30-17:00. Access: Marunouchi Line to Yotsuya-Sanchome Station, then walk 7 minutes. Or, JR Chuo/Sobu Line to Yotsuya Station, then walk 10 minutes.
6/1-2 Yokohama Kaiko-sai, Rinko Park and other sites. Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Festival to commemorate the opening of Yokohama Port. Various marine, land, and stage events are scheduled during the festival period. 6/2 Parade of government vessels in Yokohama bay. 19:20-20:00 Fireworks. Access: Tokyu Toyoko Line or Yokohama Minatomirai Line to Minatomirai Station and then walk 7 minutes.
6/1-2, 8-9 Yokohama Dragon Boat Race, Yamashita Park – Seaborne area, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. http://www.yokohama-dragon.com
6/1-9 Kaisei Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival), Kaisei Town, Kanagawa Prefecture. Access: Kaisei Station, then take shuttle bus to festival area. http://kaisei-ajisai.com
6/1-6/30 Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrandea Festival), Shimoda Park, Shimoda Port, Shimoda Fish Market, Shimoda City, Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Main events on 6/1, 16, 23. Access: Take the JR Limited Express Odoriko to Izu-Kyu Shimoda Station.
6/7-9 Shirahige Jinja Reitaisai, Shirahige Shrine, Sumida Ward, Tokyo. Annual festival of the shrine. Parade of mikoshi on 9th from 7:30 to 19:00. Access: Tobu Isezaki Line to Higashi Mukojima Station, then walk 8 minutes.
6/7-9 Shinagawa Tenno-sai – annual festival of 2 shrines, Shinagawa Jinja & Ebara Jinja, Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo. 8th: From 14:30, a parade of mikoshi carried by children. 8th: from 16:30, a parade of mikoshi carried by townspeople. 9th 8:00-12:00 & 13:15-19:30, a parade of mikoshi and palanquin near Shinagawa Jinja. Access: Shin-Bamba Station, then walk 3 minutes.
6/7-10 Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri – annual festival of Namiyoke Inari Shrine, Chuo Ward, Tokyo. Highlight is a parade of mikoshi on 6/9 from 9:00 to 14:50. Open-air stalls are set up on the 8th and 9th. The festival is smaller in scale this year than usual. 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
6/7-16 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.
6/8-9 Torikoe Matsuri, annual festival of Torikoe Shrine, Taito Ward, Tokyo. 9th: 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.
6/8-16 Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri (Hydrangea Festival), Hakusan Jinja, Hakusan Park, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. Various events on Saturday and Sunday during the festival period. Access: Hakusan Station, then walk 3 minutes. Or, Hon-Komagome Station, then walk 5 minutes.
6/21-23. 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.
6/23-24 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.
6/30-7/1 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.