Festivals & Events
A week-long series of events culminating in a traffic-stopping, city-wide parade, Sanno Matsuri is one of the capital's top festivals and a glorious celebration of all things Tokyo.
The Sanno Matsuri centers around Hie-jinja , easily accessible from many Tokyo Metro stations on the Chiyoda, Ginza, Marunouchi, Yurakucho and Hanzomon lines.
Heralding the beginning of Japan's summer festival season, the Sanno Matsuri is one of Tokyo's three most famous festivals. Held June 7 to 17 every even-numbered year, the festivities alternate with the Kanda Matsuri, a sister event which takes place in odd-numbered years.
A celebration of the nation's new political center and its rulers, the Sanno Matsuri came into being during the Edo period, from 1603 to 1867, when Tokugawa shoguns ruled the country from the capital then known as Edo.
Spanning over eleven days, the Sanno Matsuri presents a handful of events at Hie-jinja Shrine , where the deity of Tokyo is said to be enshrined. Most are small and intimate, but the main attraction is an eye-catching parade, beginning and ending at Hie-jinja Shrine , weaving throughout central Tokyo over a nine-hour period.
Although the size of the procession has diminished in recent years to avoid disrupting city traffic, it still features over 500 costume-clad dancers and performers, making it an incredible sight. Also be on the lookout for the three mikoshi, or portable shrines, that carry the gods throughout the city.