Sanja Matsuri 2023: Tokyo’s Biggest Festival

Sanja Matsuri: Join the biggest and wildest festival in Tokyo!!

Sanja Matsuri (三社祭) or Sanja Festival is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo held annually for 3 days on the third weekend of May in Asakusa Shrine. The festival is held in honor of Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari and Hajino Nakatomo, the three men who founded Senso-ji Temple.

Sanja Matsuri is considered as one of the wildest and largest festivals in Tokyo, which welcomes over 2 million visitors in 3 days.

Copyright: Yoshikazu TAKADA

The festival begins on Friday afternoon with Daigyoretsu parade, with a large procession of priests, geisha, musicians and dancers with Edo Period costumes through the neighbourhood of Asakusa.

The festival gets bigger and bigger day by day. On Saturday, it features a parade with carrying over 100 mikoshi (portable shrines) along with traditional music and dance from Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa Shrine to their neighbourhoods. The teams complete each other to be more energetic than others. At the final day of the festival on Sunday, three large-sized main mikoshi join the parade. Each mikoshi weighs approx one ton and cost 40 million yen to construct.

Copyright: Yoshikazu TAKADA

The festival also features the Geisha and taiko (Japanese drum) performances which take place at specific times throughout the weekend.

The festival is chaotic and wild, yet it’s a great opportunity to feel the real vibe of Tokyo’s neighbourhood culture.


Access: Short walk from Asakusa station

Date: 19 to 21 May 2023


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