Don't Miss the Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo's Most Happening Traditional Festival!

Don’t Miss the Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo’s Most Happening Traditional Festival!

Tokyo's Sanja Matsuri Festival is an explosion of colour, music and energy that you have to catch!

Tokyo is definitely more than the modern glamour and dazzling streets. The city is built upon rich historical cultures and traditions, many of which still come alive today. The Sanja Matsuri right in the heart of Tokyo is one local experience never felt so real and authentic, captivating festival-goers with its zest and vibrant energy!

Known as one of the “Three Great Shinto Festivals in Tokyo”, the Sanja Matsuri is held in honour of the founders of the Sensoji Temple. Different groups gather to carry the portable shrines, or mikoshi, around the Asakusa area to bring in good fortune for local businesses and residents. Sanja Mastsuri is also the only time the famous Kaminarimon will be lifted to allow shrines to pass through, so get ready your cameras to capture this rare sight!

tokyo sanja matsuri festival

Groups will be shouting cheers aggressively as they lift the shrines, accompanied by Japanese taiko drums and flutes.

Image credit: Hector Garcia

There are also specific shrines carried by little ones too!

The festive spirit is made even better with Japanese street food! The area is packed with rows of yatai (food stalls) – from sweet treats to mouthwatering grilled crabsticks, okonomiyaki and salted grilled fish, this place is a total haven for all foodies out there!

While in the Asakusa area, you can never miss this amazing menchi katsu (breaded deep fried meat cutlets) along one of the walkways (The shop is easy to spot as there will be tons of people lining up). Just at 200yen, this yummy snack is explosively popular! (It would be better to get it in the evening when the queue is shorter!)

The Sanja Masturi is on the third weekend of May every year at Asakusa shrine. The nearest station is Asakusa station along the Toei Asakusa Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or Tobu Skytree line, exit 19.

Great food. Great music. Great atmosphere. Don’t miss the Sanja Matsuri this May!

Also read: Exciting Seasonal Festivals in Japan You Don’t Want to Miss

About Author

Charmain Yong
Charmain Yong

A nature lover with a curious mind, Charmain enjoys exploring the world for the best local experiences. She documents all her travel journeys in careful detail and hopes to turn them into inspirational travel stories. If she’s not busy with work, this bespectacled young traveller will be listening to music, watching videos, or occasionally daydreaming.


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