Mitama Matsuri – Day 310

Today I went to Mitama matsuri, wearing my yukata for the first time! It took me forever to get right, but it was worth it.

This is one of Tokyo’s biggest Obon festivals, and it is held at Yasukuni shrine near Kudanshita station. It’s famous for the 30,000 lanterns that light the pathway to the shrine.

Although it seems very festive and joyous, it’s actually a festival to honour the dead. To “celebrate” this they have haunted houses set up(obake yashiki) as well as mikoshi, and various other dance performances.

Just arrived at 6pm

Just arrived at 6pm

We arrived just after 6pm as that’s when the parade starts. There were a crazy number of people at this festival, which added to the heat and humidity.

Huge Takoyaki

Huge Takoyaki

While we were waiting for the sun to set, we headed round the food stalls (very slowly) to pass time. It was hard to choose what to eat as everything smelled and looked good.

Starting to get dark

Starting to get dark

Dancing with everyone

Dancing with everyone

In between eating, we took part in some dances, and took loads of photos.

Band parade

Band parade


In the middle of the pathway to the shrine, they had a big devil (Oni) where they did some more dance performances.

Big Devil

Big Devil


When it got dark, the lights really stood out. It was such an amazing sight and each lantern has something different written on them. I think the writings are the names of the companies that bought the lanterns as some of them had Tokyo Metro written on them.

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Before we got to the shrine, we stopped to buy some melon to eat. Very refreshing!

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We finally arrived at the shrine and there were even more lanterns – such a beautiful sight!

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Everyone was taking photographs, standing in between the rows of lanterns. This photo is probably my favourite one – group photo!

DSCF2531Before heading back, we got another snack to eat. This time it was Okonomiyaki! Hiroshima style 🙂



This is just one of the many matsuri I will be attending in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more fun!

DSCF2538Thank you for reading!



This entry was published on July 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm. It’s filed under Japan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Mitama Matsuri – Day 310

  1. stunning photography

  2. Loved this festival! So much fun! The yukata looks great, btw!

    • It’s a really unusual festival, but the lights make it special 🙂 thank you! I still have to practise putting it on as it took me a long time, and I had to watch several youtube videos to learn how to tie the obi!

  3. I like that top photo with the lanterns and the summer kimono. I always love dark prints contrasted with a lighter floral pattern. I have a Hawaiian shirt with almost exactly the same print if you want to go next year as twins ; )

  4. I don’t know how you managed to survive through that crowd, I took one good look at it and left! lol

  5. Pingback: Matsuri Mania (Plum and flower festivities) – Day 317 | Olivia In Japan

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