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.
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.
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.
In between eating, we took part in some dances, and took loads of photos.
In the middle of the pathway to the shrine, they had a big devil (Oni) where they did some more dance performances.
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.
Before we got to the shrine, we stopped to buy some melon to eat. Very refreshing!
We finally arrived at the shrine and there were even more lanterns – such a beautiful sight!
Everyone was taking photographs, standing in between the rows of lanterns. This photo is probably my favourite one – group photo!
This is just one of the many matsuri I will be attending in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more fun!