Mitama Festival – A True Japanese Experience at Yasukuni Shrine | FAST JAPAN
yasukuni, mitama, yukata
Tokyo

Mitama Festival – A True Japanese Experience at Yasukuni Shrine

Mitama Festival at Yasukuni Shrine is one of the largest festivals in Tokyo. This festival runs over every 4 days between July 13th to July 16th. If you are in Tokyo during that time, you have to check this out!

Mitama Festival at Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine located in the heart of Tokyo, is famous for many things, its purpose, its history, and most notably the political controversies surrounding it. But every year those controversies and disputes are put aside for the Mitama Festival. Over a few days and nights people come from all over to honor those who gave their lives for Japan during World War II. The word “Mitama” means spirit of the deceased and this festival pays homage to those sprits.

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: Manish Prabhune@flickr

This Festival is one of the largest of its kind in Tokyo. It started in 1947 just a few years following the conclusion of WWII. This festival runs from July 13th till July 16th and has all the festival staples.

Mitama Festival at Yasukuni Shrine
Photo Credit: Manish Prabhune@flickr

There are food stands offering delicious menu items, copious amounts of beer offered, and a wonderful authentic Japanese festival atmosphere. People dressed in Yukata and kids enjoying all sorts of traditional Japanese festival games.

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: Manish Prabhune@flickr

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: Navin Sigamany@flickr

Running through the main path leading to the shrine are 30,000 lanterns strung up on either side of the path and over 200 food venders underneath the lanterns. All the traditional festival foods are covered such as yakisoba, takoyaki, corn on the cob, candied fruits, chocolate bananas, cotton candies and so many more. But you can only eat so much.

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: Daniel Rubio@flickr.com

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: Daniel Rubio@flickr.com

Make sure to challenge some of the festival games. They may look childish, but trust me they are harder than you think. This creates a scene straight out of a movie.

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: Daniel Rubio@flickr

It’s not just about the food, drinks, and games. There are traditional dance performances, taiko performances, and a parade of hand crafted floats and shrines. Some of these shrines or in Japanese “Omikoshi” are carried by kids. It is certainly a sight to see.

mitama matsuri
Photo Credit: midorisyu@flickr

You might notice the variety of different generations in attendants at this festival. Although the younger generation may not understand the significance of this festival, some people from the older generation come here to pay respect and show appreciation to those sprits. Make sure that while you are enjoying yourself, remember the true meaning of this festival. This festival is a must visit if you are here in July. This is truly an authentic Japanese summer experience. It is something you won’t soon forget.

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Mitama Festival at Yasukuni Shrine

Address : 3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-8246

Access :
10 minutes walk from Ichigaya and Iidabashi stations (JR Sobu Line and Chuo Line)
5 minutes walk from Kudanshita Station (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Hanzomon Line and Toei Shinjuku Line)

Festival dates : July 13 – July 16 (6:00pm~)

Phone: 03-3261-8326

Website: Yasukuni Shrine

 

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